Script for Sand

by Tanith Lee

(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 Eddie Clarke and Micky DuPree.

Dramatis Personae

Kerr Avon
Vila Restal
Del Tarrant
Dayna Mellanby
Servalan's Assistant
Don Keller

[The surface of Virn.]
KELLER[V.O.] I know a land beyond the heart of time. The sun never comes there. No moon ever shines. And man, a grain of sand, nameless and lost, blows with the dust. I apologise, H.Q., but that's what this place makes me think of. The sun never comes here. Just sand and mist. Virn, the green planet. Never rains here either. There's something strange. Not just the way the ship was affected when we came down. Not just the way all the machinery plays up. Not just the way we're dying. You still listening, H.Q.? This is Don Keller, remember me? On Virn, where we have a plague on our hands. On my hands. So when do I get something from you?

[On board a Federation ship, Servalan is watching a screen.]

REEVERunning the tapes again? Afraid you missed something?
SERVALANPerhaps I like watching old films.
REEVEFive years old and mostly static and interference.
KELLER[On the screen] -- virus which has killed almost all of my team here at the base. No fever, no real symptoms, people just die. Some slowly, some so fast you wouldn't believe. Twenty dead and another three sick -- they're not gonna pull through. We don't know what it is, just that it kills. Only Gina hasn't been affected yet, Gina and myself. We don't know either why the two of us appear to be immune, or if we are. We can't really run tests, can we, with the computers acting up the way they have been ever since we got here. Electromagnetic disturbance or maybe there's just sand in the panels. Sand gets into everything -- [The image on the screen breaks up and then clears again.] -- facts. This planet has something unique; at least that's what the machines said when they were still working. It's a trace element. I don't know what it is or what it does, but the readings showed it was something special. And it's here. Maybe it's connected to that first trace we picked up, the one that indicated there was life here, but we never ran it down. Federation can use something unique, can't it? So, please, come and get us out of this place. [Servalan switches off the tape.]
SERVALANIt's interesting. I don't think those tapes ever reached the highest authority at the time they were sent.
REEVEOr the Federation didn't want to risk chasing into an unidentified viral plague. This mysterious trace element, it's something that's got to be looked into, no more than that. The way things stand the Federation has to cover every possibility. But Keller, now he strikes me like a man who's scared enough. They wreck their ship on landing and he was virtually alone. He'd say anything to save his skin. I've seen that kind of stuff from dozens of people under torture.
SERVALANOf course you just happened to be passing the door when they said it?
REEVEI get results. And I'll get results on Virn, if there's any to be got.
SERVALANAt the end of those tapes Keller is obviously dying -- he wasn't immune after all. And he said the girl shot herself. They were the last. There won't be much left of them after five years.
REEVEWhich makes you rather an odd choice for this mission.
SERVALANYou think so?
REEVECommissioner Sleer? In charge of the pacification program? There's nothing for you on Virn. Unless someone thought I'd be lonely?
SERVALANI'm sure you're accustomed to loneliness, Investigator Reeve. You must be alone such a lot. [An alarm sounds on the flight controls.]
CHASGOWe're approaching the planet, sir. [The screen shows the green planet.]

ASSISTANTThat looks sick too. Could that virus still be active?
REEVEYou got your broad spectrum shots, didn't you?

REEVEAnd what about you, Madam Brainwasher?
SERVALANDo you suppose I'd be on this ship without them? [The ship is shaken.]
REEVECan't you fly this thing Chasgo?
CHASGOSuddenly, I think we must have hit some kind of multi- gravitational field. Instruments are going mad. Investigator, you and the others better get strapped in. S'gonna be a hell of a bumpy ride down.

[In Xenon Base, Vila slams his glass down on the table in front of him.]

DAYNAWell quite, IF Scorpio crashes on Virn.
VILAKeller's ship did.
SOOLINAnd then there's always the virus which may not have died out.
DAYNAYes, not to mention the untraced life Keller's computers registered. A monster perhaps? [Avon walks round to where Tarrant is sitting.]
TARRANTHello Avon. Nice day isn't it?
AVONIt's getting to be a wasted one.
VILAI just don't want to die. Is that unreasonable? DAYNA, SOOLIN &
AVONYou do understand the problem, don't you? Orac has intercepted Federation transmissions. We know what happened to Keller; we know what happened on Virn five years ago. We now know that the Federation is interested enough to send an investigator to the planet. If there is the remotest chance of there being anything of value on Virn, do we want it for ourselves, or are we prepared to let them get their hands on it?
SOOLINPut like that I agree we go.
DAYNAAnd so do I.
TARRANTOh, I don't think you're in any doubt about my reaction.
AVONAll right. Vila may stay at home and mind the store.
VILAOh no. You're not leaving me here alone.
AVON[Plugs key into Orac] Orac, what's the situation now?
ORACThe last interception was of a routine signal relayed from the transport. The ship was approaching Virn.
AVONLet's get going.

REEVEFine landing, Chasgo. You certainly put the lady out of business. [To Servalan] If there is anyone on this planet, you'll have to leave them to me now.
CHASGOEverything's in order here sir, though the instruments are still acting up. We grazed our sides coming in. I'd better check the engines.
SERVALANWe're supposed to be positioned half a mile from Keller's base.
CHASGOYou felt what happened to the ship. I barely held her. The base is about five miles to the north.
REEVECare to take a walk? [Looks at his handgun - a projectile weapon.] Can't trust anything else with Virn's electromagnetic record. Still, bullet can still make a mess of a man. I might save one for you, Chasgo, after that landing.

[Reeve, Servalan and her assistant head off for the base. Outside there is the sound of wind blowing the sand, which is everywhere. Chasgo tries to move the ship.]

SERVALANTry your communicator.
REEVE[Into communicator] Chasgo. [V.O.] Can you hear me?
CHASGOI can hear you. Half the planet seems to have come down on me.
REEVEYou've brought a sandslide down on top of the ship. [V.O.] Congratulations.
CHASGOI checked. The area seemed stable. It shouldn't have happened.
REEVE[V.O.] It did. [Normal] What are you going to do about it?
CHASGOIt's mostly sand, right? I can run the motors again, quarter power. That might shake us loose.
REEVEIt had better. Meanwhile we'll make on for the base. [Turns off communicator] We've wasted enough time.

[Scorpio's screen shows the green planet Virn.]

TARRANT[O.O.V.] It certainly doesn't look very appealing.
DAYNANo, it's much too green.
VILAWhy don't you repaint it while you're down there?
AVONWe shall all be close enough to repaint it. We need to get as close as we can. If Keller was right, the planet's energies may affect the teleport. The shorter the distance it has to operate over the better. Or, we could attempt a landing which would probably end all of our problems, permanently.

REEVE[Consults a device] Well we should be at the base by now, according to this.
SERVALANOf course we should.
REEVEYeah well, obviously it's not working.

[Reeve, Servalan and her assistant are sitting outdoors.]

REEVEIt's getting dark; we're not gonna find anything now. We'll make camp over there. Come on then; let's go. [They walk to where Reeve indicated.]
REEVEYou. Make a fire. [Servalan's assistant kneels to make the fire. Some sand falls behind him and he looks round, startled.] Nervous type, aren't you?

ASSISTANTThere is supposed to be some form of life here, isn't there?
REEVEWell if there is, it probably won't like fires. So make one. [Time passes. They sit round the fire.]
REEVENo moonlight. What a pity.
SERVALANI have nothing to gain by tolerating you Reeve.
REEVEOh, you sure of that?
SERVALANI suggest you go back to the fire. The alternative could be frostbite.
REEVEI don't believe that. A woman like you?
SERVALANThere is something you should realise. There are no women like me. I am unique. That makes me rather dangerous. Good night, Investigator. [Reeve stands and walks over to the assistant.] Sweet dreams.
REEVEWhile we're out here I'm setting a watch. Start watching.

[Reeve and Servalan sleep while the assistant is on watch some distance away.]

ASSISTANTThat pig Reeve. Yes, pig! No, pig! I hate this planet. [There is a sound of sand moving nearby.] I wish it wouldn't do that. It could be -- Huh -- [He gasps several times and is swallowed up by the sand.]

AVONYou do know that this is a hell of a risk?
TARRANTIt usually is anyway, isn't it?
DAYNAOh, I trust you, Avon.
AVONI must be slipping.
SLAVEYes indeed, I think I must be too, Master.
SLAVEEr, slipping, Master.
AVONSoolin, take over.
SOOLINGive me manual control, Slave. [Goes to the flight controls]
SLAVEWith great relief, Madam. I am somewhat disorien-- disor-- confused.
VILASounds drunk to me.
SOOLINSounds useless to me, which isn't that unusual.
AVONWe can manage without Slave.
SOOLINDescent to the troposphere under way.

REEVE[Examines the body of the assistant] He's quite dead. There's no sign of an injury. Could be the virus.
SERVALANOr it might have been heart failure. Unless you want to perform an autopsy, I suggest we move on. [He gives her a hand up and they move on.]

[Dayna and Tarrant teleport to the surface of Virn.]

DAYNAI haven't used old-fashioned percussion bullets in a long time.
TARRANTWell, at least we know they'll work.
DAYNAWell as long as four of them do.
TARRANTFour of them?
DAYNAThat's all the Federation sent, isn't it?
TARRANTAssuming they got down in one piece.

[Reeve is sitting on a rock, fiddling with his gun.]

SERVALANAfraid it won't work, Investigator?
REEVE[Points the gun at her] Afraid it will?
SERVALANYou would be able to report, presumably, an excellent reason for killing me?
REEVEOne more casualty on Virn. You did kill the other one, didn't you? You might have had a motive. Something he found out.
SERVALANReeve, you apparently think this is a new, exciting experience for me. It isn't. I've confronted several maniacs with guns.
REEVEOh, I'm sure you have ... Madam President. [She smiles.] I'm right aren't I, Servalan? We never actually met. But I was at one of those official receptions for good and faithful servants that you occasionally graced with your presence. [Dayna and Tarrant creep along a ridge above Reeve and Servalan. Reeve looks disorientated for a moment. He jumps up and aims at the ridge.] There's something on that ridge. [He fires at the ridge, catching Dayna in the arm. Then, failing to see a target, he starts to look elsewhere.]
TARRANTIt's a flesh wound. You were lucky.
DAYNAIf I'd been lucky it wouldn't have happened.
TARRANT[Into bracelet] Avon.
AVON[V.O.] What's wrong?
TARRANTDayna's just been kissed by a bullet. It's not serious, but messy. Take her up.
DAYNAI didn't say I agreed!
TARRANTApparently however, [Dayna teleports.] you did. [He appears momentarily disorientated and falls against a rock.]

[Dayna arrives on Scorpio where Soolin tends to her bleeding arm.]

VILAI never could stand the sight of blood.
DAYNAThe feeling is probably mutual.
AVON[Into communicator] Tarrant. Tarrant! [Dayna sits. Sand falls from her boots.]
AVON[V.O.] Tarrant, answer will you?
AVON[V.O.] Do you want a replacement for Dayna?
TARRANT[Into bracelet] No. No, I can handle it. [Switches off communicator] Whatever it is.

[On the Federation ship, sand is moving across the flight deck towards Chasgo, who is still trying to free the ship.]

CHASGOCome on darling, shake yourself loose.

[As Servalan approaches Keller's base, Tarrant and Reeve stalk each other round it. They exchange shots and then Reeve runs off. A shot knocks Tarrant's gun from his hand. He turns to find Reeve has him covered.]

REEVEAll right, don't be scared. I'm not gonna kill you. Let me introduce myself. Investigator Reeve. Perhaps you've heard of me? And you must be one of Keller's team, so I'll just disable you to be going on with. Just so you know we can be friends. Better stand still though. I'll aim for your leg, but I'm not the world's greatest shot so if you move ... [Reeve becomes disorientated again. Tarrant recovers his gun and shoots him. He screams and falls.]
SERVALAN[Walks out from behind a building, laughing.] I hate to tell you this, Tarrant, but you just killed an enemy of mine.
TARRANTWell, everyone's entitled to one really bad mistake.

[Scorpio is being buffeted by an electrical storm.]

AVONNo, Vila. We will stay this far down.
SOOLINThe atmospheric conditions below don't indicate storm weather. What's causing it?
AVONI think we are causing it.
AVONThere's so much static charge, not to mention the mysterious chemicals that Keller picked up on his computers. Now we have introduced a brand new alien substance, this ship. We are irritating the atmosphere and it's scratching. Noisily. And Tarrant's communicator appears to have packed up.
SOOLINHe didn't want anyone else down there. I wonder why not?
AVONWell you could always go down and find out. Orac, teleport.
ORACTeleport? I am not programmed. Three squared to the principal.
DAYNAOh, no.
ORACI love you.
ORACMy emotions are deeper than the seas of space. One times one is only possible in the ultra-dimensional.
AVONTurn Orac off.
ORACI love you.
ORACWe will be lovers for a little while, or maybe for a long while, who knows?
SOOLINI do. [Pulls key]
VILAWhat a thought.
SOOLINKeller was right again.
AVONVila, try and bring Tarrant back up.
VILA[He tries.] Nonoperational.
AVONWell now, none of us is going to faint with amazement at that. Are we?
SOOLINWhat's the next move?
AVONThe usual one. [Brushes sand off console] We'll wait.

TARRANT[Into bracelet] Avon. Avon, what are you waiting for?
SERVALANWhat a shame.
TARRANTYes, it is rather a pity, we could all have had a reunion.
SERVALANInstead the reunion is limited to two. What is your particular grudge against me?
TARRANTLet me see. You sat and watched my brother die. That doesn't seem to make me like you very much. Aside from all the countless other reasons anyone might have for blowing your head off.
SERVALANWhat fascinating violence.
TARRANTI'm also a fascinating shot. Particularly at a distance of three feet.
SERVALANIs that how close we are? Something must be drawing us together.
TARRANTWe're both looking for the same thing.
SERVALANAre we? Then I suggest we agree a truce.
TARRANTYou mean I put the gun away and you and I trip hand in hand across the base, until you brain me with some convenient blunt instrument.
SERVALANYou underestimate your usefulness, Tarrant. I said a truce. Or we can stand here until we die of sedentary collapse. Because you aren't going to kill me, Tarrant, however much you think you want to.
SERVALAN[Pulls the end of his gun to her forehead] At a distance of one inch, the shot should be even more efficient.
TARRANT[Smiles] Very neat Servalan. You've found my weakness. I prefer to shoot a moving target. In other words, be very careful.

[They enter the base.]

TARRANTSand everywhere. Keller was right about that too. Something else -- it's warm in here, which means the life support systems must still be working.
SERVALANThen someone must still be alive here.
TARRANTWere you expecting someone to be?
TARRANT[He holsters his gun.] It's fairly standard equipment. If there's power for the life supports, there will be for these. [Servalan activates the base computer.] Ah!
COMPUTERJam. Jamble. Scramble. Uncode. Declassify. Jargon. Love is the only reality.
TARRANTI don't suppose this kind of machine would respond to a kick in the ear, would it?
COMPUTERKeller. Colour. Cooler. Killer. Calor. Choler.
SERVALANThe computers here were affected by atmospheric static. He said that.
TARRANTIt's useless then.
COMPUTERI love you. I know a land where love. Keller. Don. Don. Dun. Din. Dan. Den. Perhaps we will be lovers for a long while. Who knows? Who know -- [Servalan switches it off.]
TARRANTWe'll just have to hope he kept a diary. [He finds a food machine.] Ah, food. All right, let's see you do it after five years. [He activates the machine. Servalan opens a door to another room. Tarrant draws his gun and follows her to the doorway. In the room, Don Keller sits in a chair.]
TARRANTDon Keller, I presume? Well since you're alive, how about giving me a good reason for letting you stay that way?
SERVALANDon't be such a fool, Tarrant. [She bashes Keller's corpse to the floor.]
TARRANTThen he is dead.
SERVALANYes, of course he is.
TARRANTThen if he's dead, how come his body's still in perfect condition after five years? [He touches the corpse.] Servalan, his body's still flexible; he's still warm.
SERVALANIs he? [There is a noise from outside and a banging on the outer door. They run to it.]
TARRANTThere seems to be something out there. Shall I see if it wants to come in? [The room darkens as the sand rises outside, obscuring the windows. The interior lights come on.] Interesting. [He holsters his gun and opens the door. Sand pours into the room.] Now we know why it went dark. This building's been covered by a sand drift higher than the windows. [Suddenly an alarm sounds.]
SERVALAN[Startled] Aah! [She grabs Tarrant's arm and looks away but on looking back she is relieved to find it is just the food machine announcing that dinner is ready.]

VILAI'm hungry. Is that why I feel dizzy?
SOOLINLet's play a mind game.
SOOLINLet's imagine the three of you have come under a malign, psychic influence. To use antiquated terminology, a curse.
DAYNAWell, why us and not you?
SOOLINBefore my time.
VILAWhat are you getting at?
SOOLINI seem to recall you telling me of an alien trying to take over the Liberator through Cally. Avon killed it. Psi powers, a negative influence left behind -- [Thunder]
DAYNAOh, and thunder right on cue. This is silly.
SOOLINIs it? The indestructible Liberator was destroyed, and Cally died.
VILAWhy don't you just shut up! What the hell do you know about any of that?
AVONDo you believe anything of what you've just said?
SOOLINNot one word. [Vila sits on a step with a pile of sand around his feet.]

CHASGO[At the controls of the Federation ship] None of this makes sense any more. [The sand moves around his feet.]

[Tarrant and Servalan are finishing their meal.]

TARRANTWould this be the point at which we break down and tell each other the stories of our lives?
SERVALANTo soulful music?
TARRANTOh preferably. How did you get away from the Liberator?
SERVALANIt was difficult.
TARRANTIt was impossible.
SERVALANManifestly not.
SERVALANThe teleport. A malfunction. A power surge. Suddenly I was back on a Federation world.
TARRANTWhat a lucky little commissioner you are.
SERVALANAren't I, though?
TARRANTWhat happened to the presidency?
SERVALANIt was stolen in my absence. I shall take it back eventually.
TARRANTIf the new boys don't spot you first.
SERVALANI'm dead. And anyone who was ever directly involved with me has been purged.
TARRANTYeah well, it's somewhat academic at the moment anyway while we're prisoners here.
TARRANTWhat else?
SERVALANIf anyone can find a way out of here, you will.
SERVALANNaturally. You are both resourceful and decorative.
TARRANTThank you. I might say the same about you. But then I'd also say you're possibly the most unscrupulously venomous woman in the galaxy. Being shut in here with you is rather like being locked in a cage with a panther: a black cat with large golden eyes and long silver talons.
SERVALANOh, Tarrant. I'm just the girl next door.
TARRANTIf you were the girl next door, I'd move.
SERVALANWhere would you move to, Tarrant?
TARRANTNext door?

[Avon is shifting some perspex squares in a grid.]

DAYNAWhat on earth are you doing?
AVONIt's called a probability square. You've never heard of it?
AVONEach square represents a piece of information: a fact, a reason for that fact, or a conclusion that might be drawn from that fact. You keep shifting the squares until you achieve a pattern that makes sense. The square [Indicates the pattern he has made] represents Virn.
DAYNAOh! Playing Orac.
AVONAnd getting some very interesting results.
VILAAvon the machine.
DAYNAOh, go away, Vila.
VILAI thought I liked you.
AVONYou do like her. Now go and sit down.
VILA[Trips and sits down heavily in the pile of sand] Funny, aren't I? If I died it'd be a real joke. Who'd care? Who cared about Cally?

TARRANTYou know, I have a theory about all this. Keller's base was wiped out by a mysterious virus that left the corpses supple and undecayed. I say corpses; if we were able to search the place we'd find the others. I'm sure of that. What else have we got? A planet that registers a life reading, only nobody can figure out what the lifeform is. A planet with energies in the air that turn every piece of advanced machinery crazy from a ship to a computer. And yet somehow Keller's machines were able to put up this base, and the base and its life support systems have remained intact. This planet has one other thing though, doesn't it? The thing we're looking for. Some unique, unspecified element that could be incredibly useful, if we knew what it was. I know what it is.
SERVALANYou don't happen to be boring me.
TARRANTGood, then I'll go on. No, answer a question first. Before I killed him something peculiar happened to Reeve. What happened to the other two in your party?
SERVALANOne died here. The pilot's still on the ship -- there was a sandslide.
TARRANTIf he's still inside the ship then he's probably safe. Oh you're very clever Servalan; why can't you work it out? Sand slides. Sand higher than the windows.
SERVALANAre you serious?
TARRANTIf you think about it, it's the only explanation.
TARRANTYou've seen the way it moves.
SERVALANBlown in the wind.
TARRANTThere is no wind.
SERVALANNonsense, it's been blowing --
TARRANTA sound like the wind, that's all.
SERVALANYou're right. The air never stirred; there was no wind.
TARRANTThe trace of life on Virn was the sand. Some emanation from it affects the atmosphere, even the magnetic fields of the planet, and causes the rest of the trouble: ships crash, instruments fail, nobody can protect himself. And when the sand comes into contact with a human body it sucks out the cellular energy, sometimes fast, sometimes slowly. I imagine that depends on how much sand is in the vicinity. But that's what Keller's plague was. Not a virus, a vampire. It killed all of them, except the girl. And then the third element of Virn's ecology took over.
SERVALANThey were preserved.
TARRANTIt appears the sand can nourish itself on the dead too so it makes sure the dead stay edible. And there's the unique element we came here to find, a preservative that acts indefinitely without dehydration or freezing. Oh it could be incredibly useful. It's also completely unget-at-able under Virn's built-in conditions.
SERVALANA vampire? It's an imaginative theory, Tarrant, but it's flawed -- we're still alive.
TARRANTI know, and that's the nastiest part of all.
TARRANTSuppose the sand can reason in some rudimentary but quite logical way. A food source here can last for years but it seems reasonable to think that it would like more food available -- fresh food.
SERVALANDon Keller and the girl.
TARRANTThe last survivors here, apparently immune. Then the girl killed herself. She must have guessed. Once the girl died Keller immediately got sick; her death made him expendable. Well it's breeding stock, Servalan. It was keeping them alive to breed a race of food animals for itself, a herd. And that's our function, yours and mine. So we get a cosy pen and good food. Now I suppose I should be flattered. The vampire tested me and thinks I'm superior stock to Reeve and the others. It reckoned it could afford to kill them if it saved me. And you, of course. Yes, any number of women would be safe. A herd. [He picks up a cube of water.] The label says, "Earth Spring Water," bottled in glass. You'd better take it. I don't think you'll ever see Earth again.
SERVALANDon Keller, he was my lover. I was eighteen.
TARRANTHe's the reason you're here.
SERVALANHe left me. I grew up. Power became my lover. Power is like a drug. It is beautiful. Shining. I could destroy a planet by pressing a button. I loved him.
TARRANTThis isn't going to help either of us.
SERVALANI don't care about either of us.
TARRANTHey, [Servalan is about to cry] it doesn't rain here remember.

DAYNAAvon. There's sand all around him. It wasn't there before.
AVONSand. Vila get up!
VILAGet lost! [Soolin and Dayna lift him up out of the sand.] Oh, thanks. [He drops his drink and the glass smashes on the floor.] I think I'm dying.
DAYNAAvon, look. [The water from Vila's glass is reacting with the sand.]
AVONOf course. Water!

TARRANT[Passes sand through his hands. Returns to the lounging area. To Servalan.] Since you're awake, you'd see better from here. You cry very beautifully, Servalan, and one of your tears did this to the sand on the floor. [He pours water onto the sand, which is destroyed in the reaction.] At first I thought it was just your destructive nature. [They kiss.] Try to remember I have a gun.
SERVALANActually [Brings his gun up to point at him] no.

[Soolin takes the unconscious Vila's pulse.]

SOOLINHis pulse is very weak.
AVONWell that should go very nicely with the rest of him.
DAYNA[Puts down a glass] Well, there doesn't seem to be any more sand. There wasn't much but it was everywhere.
SOOLINAll right Avon, you've told us your theory. It wasn't a plague on Virn; it was the sand feeding off human energy. Does that mean we reckon Tarrant is dead?
AVONNot necessarily. According to Orac's earlier information there's probably a woman down there. It's just possible that Tarrant was stronger and fitter than the three men in the Federation patrol, in which case he may have been kept alive, as Keller was kept alive, and for the same reason.
SOOLINNew food supplies.
DAYNAYes, but what about us?
AVONPresumably the sand up here has compared Vila's wits and stamina with mine and concluded that I am the dominant male. On the herd principle therefore, it decided that Vila was superfluous and it could kill him. You two, of course, would have been allowed to live.
SOOLINDon't say it, Avon.
AVONI wasn't going to say anything. [The ship is shaken and they are all thrown to the ground.]
SOOLINHow much more of this can the ship take?
DAYNALook, there must be some way to get Tarrant off that planet.
AVONNot unless we can do something about the sand on Virn. One glass of water is not going to be enough.
SOOLINA rainstorm might be.
DAYNABut it never rains on Virn.
AVONMaybe we can change that. [Goes to the flight controls] It's not perfect but now that we have cleared the sand away from here these instruments make some kind of sense. I believe that we can nurse this ship through a controlled nose dive.
AVONWhere we are now we are causing massive atmospheric disturbance. Let us get closer. Let us make it worse. Eventually there may be enough of a build-up to create some kind of rain.
SOOLINOr to knock us out of the sky.
AVONThis is not just a rescue mission for poor gallant Tarrant! While the sand remains active, the planet will not let go of US. The instruments are unreliable. We have Virn hanging on our heels. How do you think WE are going to get away? [Soolin and Dayna rush to their positions.] I take it that means yes.
DAYNAWell, how could we refuse, Avon? You are the dominant male, aren't you? [He smiles. They go into a nose dive and the ride gets much bumpier. The lights start to flash.]
AVONDayna! Emergency lighting.

[Servalan holds the gun to Tarrant's head.]

TARRANTYou can't kill me. If you do your value to the sand is over. You'll be dead in half an hour.
SERVALANYou forget. My pilot is still alive on the ship. One man, one woman. I can kill you. [Outside it starts to rain.]
SERVALANIt's raining! The rain will destroy the sand outside. How soon before the sand in here realises we can escape and kills us?
TARRANTWater. We'll break the windows. [Servalan gives him the gun.] Stand back. [He shoots out the glass.]

VILA[Wakes up] What was that?
DAYNAJust some glass breaking.
VILAWhat happened?
DAYNAYou wouldn't be any happier if I told you.
VILAOh. What happened to me?
DAYNAOh, not a lot. There wasn't enough of it to kill you.
VILAKill me?
DAYNAIt didn't.
VILAI'm not so sure.
SLAVEYes, Master.
AVONNice to have you back. Put the automatics on line. Check Orac. [Soolin goes to activate Orac.]
SOOLINHow are you feeling now, Orac?
ORACFeeling is not a term which can under any circumstances be applied to me.
AVONWould you care to comment on the teleport?
ORACThe teleport is fully functional.
SOOLINYou gambled, Avon, but you won.
AVONDo I get a prize?

[Servalan's location device is beeping as they make their way away from the base.]

SERVALANThis is working now. It should take me about an hour to reach the ship. You don't have to see me home.
TARRANTWhat makes you think I'll let you go at all?
SERVALANI mean so much to you. [Tarrant's bracelet beeps.]
AVON[V.O.] Tarrant! Tarrant!
TARRANT[Into bracelet.] Yes Avon?
AVON[V.O.] We're bringing you up. Now.
TARRANTAll right. Oh by the way, I've found out what the magic chemical is, but I can't bring it back with me.
AVON[V.O.] Tell me when you get here.
SERVALANThank you.
TARRANTServalan --
SERVALAN[Holds her hand up to stop him speaking] Goodbye Tarrant. [Tarrant teleports. Servalan sits on a rock for a few moments then heads off for the ship as the planet starts making noises again.]

DAYNAHomeward bound. You know, we might just as well not have bothered to come. The whole thing's been ridiculous.
SOOLINOne consolation. Though we can't get the preservative, neither can the Federation.
VILAYou never said what the woman was like, Tarrant.
TARRANTPretty familiar -- Servalan.
TARRANTYes. She explained her survival.
DAYNAAnd did she excuse it too?
AVONPresumably she was after the same thing as the Federation, but for private purposes.
TARRANTAnd Don Keller was supposed to have been her lover.
AVONShe told you that?
AVONYou believed her?
TARRANTNot necessarily. I think it was a gambit to gain my sympathy in a nervous situation.
AVONAnd she got it, too, didn't she? Your sympathy, I mean.
TARRANTYes, Avon. [Dayna rises and faces him.] I've said all I'm going to. [Dayna, Soolin, and Vila leave the flight deck.]
AVONOrac has theorised that the planet makes its own sand. It's probably cooking up a new batch right now. Servalan may not get off Virn alive, which would make you the last man in her life. [He smiles.] That's ironic, isn't it?

[Servalan arrives on the Federation ship's flight deck and wakes Chasgo who is slumped over his console.]

SERVALANThe others are dead. We haven't time to discuss it now, we're in danger. Don't ask what; just take this ship up.
CHASGOBut the instruments won't even respond.
SERVALANThey will. Do as I say.
CHASGOAll right, I'll try.
SERVALANWas there any sand in the ship?
CHASGOYes. I didn't like the look of it. After the rain had cleared us I threw it outside. Then I felt ... I must've fallen asleep. [Looks at the controls] This is almost normal. What the hell has been --
SERVALANStop talking and take this ship up. I have a negative report to prepare. [The ship launches.]
SERVALANDon Keller. You waited five years to show me you were dead. And Del Tarrant. I had the gun but I didn't kill you, Tarrant. Yet.

[She breaks the cube of Earth spring water over some sand left on a control panel, destroying it.]

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