Script for Sarcophagus

by Tanith Lee

(c) 1980 by the British Broadcasting Corporation. Series created by Terry Nation. This is a complete dialogue transcript for research purposes and is not for sale under any circumstances. Format (c) 1993 by Susan Schnitger, Micky DuPree and Didi Johnson.

Dramatis Personae

Kerr Avon
Vila Restal
Del Tarrant
Dayna Mellanby

[On the surface of a planet. Three figures clad in red approach a round, shining white building. Two are carrying burning torches, the third is carrying an object covered by a red veil.]

[A circular chamber within that building. On the floor is a triangular pattern with rays extending from it. On a bier nearby lies a body completely hidden beneath a drape. Three more figures are there. Two, wearing gray, are also holding burning torches. The third is wearing black. The three figures in red enter the chamber. The one carrying the object sets it on the floor, and all make an obeisance to the one in black. All six figures gather about the triangle, and the leader magically extinguishes each of the other's torches in turn. A series of masked figures are conjured one by one in the center of the triangle:

A female figure in green appears. She proffers a smoking bowl then disappears.

A male figure in orange appears. He does some sleight of hand, making some scarves and a white dove appear from an empty tube and then vanishes.

A female figure in aqua appears. She strums a few chords on a lyre-like harp and then disappears.

A male figure in red appears. He postures threateningly and fires a gun and then vanishes.

The assemblage starts to leave. A male Caucasian figure in black appears and simply stands there in a relaxed posture. The leader frowns, then banishes it with a gesture. She motions the others to leave, then uncovers the hands of the corpse. Removing a ring set with a large black stone from her own hand she slips it onto one of the body's fingers. After replacing the covering she exits.]

[On the surface of the planet. The building is revealed to be a spaceship as it rises into the sky.]

[In space. The alien spaceship drifts.]

[A shot of a band of twisted gold metal. Then it serves as a frame to an extreme close up of Cally's eye.]

[Inside Cally's cabin on the Liberator. She is sitting in a chair, holding a sheet of paper.]

AVON[V.O., O.O.S.] Cally.
CALLYWhat is it?
AVON[V.O., O.O.S.] Well, it looks like a door. And it's closed. [Cally lays the paper on a table then opens the door and he enters the shot.] Zen's fixed the orbit of the mineral asteroid that Tarrant was talking about. We have half an hour to decide if we go after it.
CALLYWhy not? It's something else to chase. [Avon picks up the paper and looks at it.] A sketch of a place I used to know.
CALLYYes, Auron. And it's pointless to think about it. I'll never see it again.
AVONThat's why you've been shut in here for ten hours? Thinking about Auron and how you'll never see it again?
CALLYThat's why.
AVONI wish I could promise you that the sparkling company on the flight deck would take you out of yourself.
CALLY[smiles ruefully] I'm all right.
AVONNo, you're not. [He rests his hand on her arm.] But you will be. Regret is part of being alive. But keep it a small part.
CALLYAs you do?
AVON[Smiles] Demonstrably. [Cally smiles, pats him on the chest, and exits. Avon lays the paper down and follows.]

[The flight deck of the Liberator. Tarrant is working with a hand calculating device near one of the control positions. Dayna is seated in the pit, tuning a lyre-like string instrument. Vila is bending over a triangular game board, moving a playing piece. Cally and Avon enter.]

VILAI think I'm going to win this time, Avon.
DAYNACongratulations. [Avon pauses by the board to remove three black pieces and shift one white piece.]
VILAYou can't. Oh. Yes, you can.
DAYNAVila didn't win again.
VILAIt was your fault. You put me off.
DAYNAWith pleasure. On the first planet we come to.
TARRANT[Approaches Avon and hands him the calculator.] Here, take a look at this. That asteroid's less than thirty- two hours away, but we'll still be cutting it fine.
AVONLet's get going then. There's nothing keeping us here.
ZENInformation. Detectors indicate a vessel is approaching.
AVONWhat speed is it making?
ZENThere is no specific speed. The vehicle is apparently adrift.
AVONPut it on visual.
ZENConfirmed. Scanners in operation. [It displays a blurry visual of the alien spaceship.]
TARRANTDoesn't maintain your usual standards, Zen. [The focus sharpens.] Some kind of alien.
AVONIt's like nothing I've ever seen before.
VILAAn alien spaceship has aliens on it, right? My experience of aliens hasn't exactly been warming.
TARRANTYour experiences with humans haven't been particularly glowing either. Zen, any idea where she comes from?
ZENNegative. No comparative data is available. Primary analysis suggests the design is eccentric and may be decorative rather than functional.
AVONWhat about manpower, or whatever power it's got?
ZENThe ship registers no life signs.
VILAWell, if it really were alien it may not register as life.
ZENAlien vessel is now stationary.
ZENTwo hundred spatials.
AVONThat's a little too perfect for something that is registering as unmanned.
TARRANTWe signal?
AVONGive me a reason.
TARRANTA reason? It's out there.
AVONIn other words, you're bored.
TARRANTIn other words, I don't believe in missing chances.
AVONAny chance this offers is purely hypothetical. On the other hand, any minerals we pull off that asteroid are unique and therefore conceivably useful. And once its orbit takes it back into the perimeter of its sun, we lose it for another three months.
TARRANTI still give this priority.
DAYNAWe can't just ignore it.
CALLYNo, Avon, we can't.
AVONSomething else to chase? Very well, as you are all so eager -- Zen, signal the alien.
ZENConfirmed. [There is an alien sound. Cally closes her eyes and winces slightly.]
AVON[to Cally] What is it?
AVONYou picked up on something.
CALLYNo. How could I? I'm an Auron. The only message I can receive is from one of my own people.
AVONI know.
DAYNABut you're still psi-developed, Cally. You can read minds sometimes. Did you?
CALLYNot then.
TARRANTI don't believe her.
AVONLeave it, Tarrant. She just told you, only an Auron can communicate directly to another Auron. That thing out there is not an Auron ship. Zen, confirm negative response.
ZENNegative response confirmed.
AVON[Pulls ORAC's key out.] Now, we have another decision to make. Somehow that ship has moored itself conveniently close. Do we teleport aboard?
TARRANTI suggest a party of three for maximum cover, and armed.
AVONWhy do I get the feeling that you have been planning this for weeks? Very well. Vila, Cally, get three guns. Get to the teleport.
TARRANTAnd do what --
AVON[To Tarrant] YOU will remain here as backup with Dayna. [Smiles slightly] You don't mind, do you? [Hands him ORAC's key.]

[The circular chamber in the alien spaceship. Everything is covered with a thick layer of dust and cobwebs. Cally appears alone.]

CALLY[looks around] Avon? Vila? [Avon and Vila appear, Vila falling down immediately.]
CALLYSomething went wrong?
VILAYou can say that again.
CALLYYou were both seconds behind me.
AVON[into bracelet] Dayna, what happened?

[The teleport room on the Liberator. Dayna is at the controls, TARRANT is near by.]

DAYNANothing happened.
AVON[v.o.] I was late getting here and Vila arrived on his head.
TARRANTNothing showed up as wrong. I'll get Zen to check everything out.
AVONDo that.
VILAWe are going to be able to get back, aren't we? I shouldn't like to have to spend the rest of my life here. [An "alien" sound effect -- a static-y hum -- begins quietly, then build louder and louder as the scene continues]
AVONDon't worry. It wouldn't be a long one.
VILAWonderful. What do you mean?
AVONZen promised us an oxygen atmosphere but it's pretty thin on the ground. [He rests his hand on an object that crumbles beneath its weight, then picks up a disk.] Though it must have been denser at one time to cause so much of this. [He effortlessly crushes the disk into powder.]
CALLYYou kept Tarrant out. Why?
AVONHis enthusiasm can be distracting.
VILA[pulling at ribbons draped over the furnishings] What are all these colored ribbons?
AVONPerhaps they were having a party. According to Zen this ship has one single deck and this is it. Do you notice anything? [Vila looks about blankly.]
CALLYNo instrument panels?
AVONNo navigational or drive systems whatsoever. It's unlikely that they would corrode without trace.
CALLY[approaches the bier and uncovers the ring] Avon, look at this.
AVON[uncovers the face of the body] Whatever it was, it was humanoid.
VILAI don't think I want to see.
CALLYThis isn't a a ship, it's a tomb. They, whoever they are or were, sealed their dead up inside and set it adrift in space. This rubble -- it's the remains of artifacts buried with the corpse.
VILAThat doesn't seem very hygienic.
AVONYou worked it all out very fast.
CALLYWell, it's obvious.
CALLYThese jewels must be priceless.
VILAJewels? [He reaches toward the ring.]
CALLY[blocks his arm] Vila, don't.
VILA[Looks at the corpse] No. I don't think I will. [As he turns away he trips on an object on the floor, then kneels beside it.] What's this? [He tears the veil covering it, revealing a device shaped like an egg mounted on a pedestal with several buttons.]
AVON[crouches beside Vila] I take it that's a rhetorical question, or did you really think we knew?
AVONI'd like to take a look at it before you smash it to bits. [Cally has remained beside the corpse. Something appears to catch her eye. She draws her gun and fires. The alien sound stops.]
AVON[draws his gun and swivels to face in the same direction as Cally] What the hell?!
CALLYI saw something. I think it must have been my reflection.
VILAYou can take modesty too far, you know.
DAYNA[v.o.] Avon! Avon, answer.
AVONWhat is it? [Teleport room]
TARRANTThe detectors are registering some sort of energy build-up all 'round you on that ship.
AVON[v.o.] One of us just fired at something that wasn't there. Maybe we've triggered something else that is.
DAYNAYou certainly have. Listen, describe the interior.
AVON[v.o.] Dust, debris, rather an old corpse --
DAYNAWHAT? Well, is there any sort of beam you could have broken? [Alien ship]
AVONProbably hundreds.
DAYNA[v.o.] A trip-wire?
VILA[indicating the ribbons he had gone back to fiddling with] Avon?
AVONWe may have tripped a few wires, yes. [Teleport room]
DAYNAThat ship must have an anti-intruder device rigged. You've activated it. Avon, I think you're now inside a live bomb. [Alien ship]
AVONThen get us out of here fast and do it right this time. [A throbbing sound starts and gets louder, and the room lighting begins to flicker in intensity.] Vila!
AVON[indicating egg-shaped device] Pick that thing up. [Vila approaches it reluctantly, then stops to cover his ears with both hands and shuts his eyes. Cally picks up the device and then vanishes.]
VILAThat was smooth, Dayna. [Opens his eyes and looks about] Dayna? Avon, we're still here.

[Cally appears in the teleport room.]

TARRANTWhere are they? Cally, for heaven's sake!
ZENBuild-up of energy aboard alien ship increasing.
TARRANTDid they take off the bracelets?
CALLYOf course they didn't.
DAYNA[vainly works the controls again] Am I doing something wrong?
CALLYNo. This happened going in. As if--
ZENBuild-up of energy aboard alien ship increasing to a critical point.
DAYNAZen, malfunction of teleport system.
ZENShutdown may be implemented. Energy increase aboard alien ship computed as reaching critical point in thirty seconds.
CALLY[hurries into teleport area] Put me back on the alien ship.
TARRANTYou heard Zen -- you can't go back into that. Besides which, the teleport could fail totally at any moment or go into automatic shutdown.
CALLYTry to put me back. Give me as many seconds as you can spare then try to bring me out again.
DAYNADon't. Don't, Cally.
ZENTwenty seconds.
CALLYI think I can bring them out with me, otherwise they'll both die.
DAYNAThis way you'll all die.
ZENFifteen seconds.
CALLYIt's our only chance. Do it! [Dayna rushes to work the controls.]
ZENTen seconds.

[Aboard the alien ship. The beating sound is very loud.]

AVON[into bracelet] Answer me, will you? Answer me! [Cally appears and takes his hand.] Don't tell me, Zen has finally gone mad.
CALLYThere's no time. Vila, give me your hand. [All three vanish.]

[The alien ship explodes.]

[The teleport room. All three appear.]

TARRANTZen, damage report.
ZENThe Liberator has sustained no damage. The teleport is now functioning at full power.
DAYNABetter late than never.
AVONWhat the hell was going on over here? Afternoon tea?
TARRANTAsk Zen. I want to know what trick Cally pulled off that Zen couldn't. Or wouldn't.
CALLYTheir teleport bracelets were affected by the energy build-up. Mine obviously wasn't. When I linked with Avon and Vila by touch, my bracelet boosted the others and brought the three of us through.
TARRANTNeat. And not remotely believable.
VILAWho cares, it worked. Thanks, Cally. [He looks at their still-linked hands.] I never realized you felt this way about me. [Cally drops his hand in exasperation.]
CALLY[to Avon] You were nearly killed. Was it worth it?
AVONWas it?
CALLYI'd like a straight answer.
AVONTry a straight question.
CALLYYou didn't trust me. You thought I had some obscure reaction to something on that ship, didn't you? You and I teleported so that you could watch me and see what I'd do. You cut Tarrant out because he had the same idea, but he'd made no secret of it.
AVONYou're over-reacting.
CALLYProbably. But you wouldn't expect a normal human response, would you? I'm not quite human. [Exits.]

[The flight deck. The alien device has been cleaned up and is revealed to be an egg-shaped object in a bright enamel blue mounted on a base of shiny worked metal with an inset control panel with strange markings and buttons of varying sizes. It is sitting on a table with Avon studying it.]

TARRANTAre you having any luck with that object, Avon?
AVONAs you can see, no.
TARRANTTry ORAC with it.
AVONI already have. It has no more idea of its function than we do.
DAYNADo any of the buttons respond?
AVON[pushes each of them] No.

[Cally's cabin. She is holding the alien's ring in her cupped hands, looking at it. There is a vision of the chamber in the alien ship. The figure with the smoking bowl appears, but now its face is revealed to be Cally's.]

[The flight deck.]

VILAI've got a headache. Cally had the right idea. I think I'll get some rest. [Starts to leave then pauses.] As if a storm were coming.
TARRANTRather unlikely in here, don't you think? [Vila exits.]
DAYNAI hate to say this, but I think Vila's right. There is something. [She touches a control panel.] I thought so! Static electricity.
AVON[cautiously touches same panel] Nothing. It must be your naturally electric personality.
CALLY[enters] I've finished with the book screen, Dayna. You said you wanted it.
TARRANTAh, Cally. I've been going over that theory of yours about the teleport bracelets boosting each other. As you're aware, it doesn't make sense.
CALLYYou have a better one?
TARRANTThere was some kind of power source on that alien ship that you were telepathically receptive to. When the teleport failed you were able to use that source to get yourself out and to get Avon and Vila out with you.
CALLYI seem to be more clever than I thought I was.
TARRANTWhat I really want to know is why you're being so bashful. What are you hiding and why?
AVONShut up, Tarrant.
TARRANTDid you say something to me?
AVONI said, shut up. I apologize for not realizing you are deaf.
TARRANT[approaches Avon] There's something else you don't realize. I don't take any orders from you.
AVONWell, now that's a great pity, considering that your own ideas are so limited.
TARRANTDon't try and bluff your way with me, Avon. I know what's been needling you right from the start. With Blake gone, you thought you'd got it made, didn't you? Thought you'd got control of this ship and a crew of three who'd say, "Yes, Avon. Whatever you want, Avon." [Cally puts the bookscreen down.] But you reckoned without me. [Cally starts toward the artifact.]
AVONThat wouldn't be too difficult. [Alien sound effect starts.]
TARRANTOh, really? I don't think so. When you found me on the Liberator, it was quite a blow. [Cally starts pushing buttons on the artifact.] And every time you look at me, it hits you harder, doesn't it? I'm faster than you and I'm sharper. As far as it goes, I've made a success of my life. But you? The only big thing you ever tried to do you failed at. The greatest computer swindle of all time ... but you couldn't quite pull it off, could you? If it hadn't been for Blake, you'd be rotting on Cygnus Alpha right now. No, you failed, Avon. But I win. Not just at games, at life.
AVONYou also talk too much.
TARRANTBe thankful I'm restricting myself to talk.
AVONWell now, that's fascinating. You mean you can do something else?
DAYNA[Stepping between them] Oh, stop this. What are you doing? Warming up to cutting each other's throats? [Cally has already moved away from the alien device. She turns and heads for the exit. The alien sound effect stops.]
TARRANT[Turns away] Avon. Do you want to forget I said all that?
AVONIt wasn't particularly memorable. [Corridor just off the flight deck. Cally pauses during Dayna's next speech then moves away down the corridor.]
DAYNA[v.o.] We need sleep. All of us. Even you need sleep, Tarrant. [Flight deck]
TARRANTAnd tomorrow, everything will look different?
AVONIf it does, you can assume you're on the wrong ship.

[In space. Views of the Liberator, as Dayna's voice sings: "I left my world to wander in this endless midnight sky, for space is just a starry night where no suns ever rise." The twisted gold band frames a view of the Liberator.]

[Cally's cabin. She is lying on her bed. Sometimes her image is overlaid with a vision of her dressed in robes. The alien ring is on her finger.] Alien: [v.o.] Cally. Cally. Cally. [Vision of Cally as the woman in green, bearing the bowl.]

[The flight deck. It is darker than normal. The egg-device is now glowing with a pulsing light. Dayna hurries in.]

ZENInboard sensors detect a build-up of energy on flight deck. This energy is of an electrical nature.
VILA[rushes in] Zen, what's the matter with the lights?
ZENLife systems have regained full power.
TARRANT[enters] What's happening?
VILASomething funny is going on.
DAYNA[indicates egg device] That will take the smile off your face.
VILAOh, no.

[Cally's cabin. She is lying motionless on her bed. The alien sound effect is loud.]

[The flight deck. Tarrant is examining the egg-device, which keeps blinking.]

TARRANTMaybe ORAC will be more obliging now that this thing has turned its light on.
VILAMy head's killing me.
TARRANTYou should learn self-defense. [Keys ORAC.] ORAC, I want another analysis.
ORACI have already informed you that this structure is of an unfamiliar type. My deductions are necessarily limited by the facts available and the rationality of possible theories. Wild surmise is not a part of my function.
TARRANTBe more specific, ORAC.
ORACThe only deduction I have been able to make concerning this artifact is that its purpose is not only inimicable but also apparently unreasonable. It is active although the panel of keys appears to have been pre-programmed many centuries prior to this activation. Since the origin of the device is ambiguous it must belong to a world or even a galaxy as yet unfamiliar to the human race.
DAYNAWhat do you mean, the purpose of the artifact is unreasonable? Are you saying you do have some idea--
ORACI am not willing to speculate on so tenuous and oblique a basis. I should, however, warn you that a slight electrical imbalance appears to be--[electronic tone]
VILAWhat did you say? [A tray of glasses begins to jiggle for no apparent reason.]
TARRANTORAC, what's the matter with you?
ORACDisconnect me.
TARRANTWait a minute, Orac--
ORACDisconnect. [The glasses tumble off the tray which begins to swoop around in the air.]
DAYNAI don't believe that.
VILATry and convince me, will you? Please?
ORACDis ... con ...n.... [The egg-device glares with a steady blue light.]
TARRANTDown! Get down! [They duck down behind some control panels. The egg-device turns dull, then self-destructs, collapsing and crumpling into dust. The tray clatters to the floor. They raise their heads and look about cautiously.]
DAYNAORAC! [rushes over to Orac. During the next couple of speeches she fiddles a bit with Orac, removing and replacing its key, etc.]
TARRANTZen, check the radiation level in here.
ZENRadiation level normal. There's been a second momentary increase of energy in the area of the flight deck. Not in itself dangerous.
VILAWell, it wouldn't be for you, would it?
DAYNA[ORAC is damaged. I can't tell how badly.
VILAI've got pins and needles.
ZEN[Pitch and tone vary wildly through the rest of Zen's dialog]: Inboard ... inboard sensors indicate there is an intruder aboard.
TARRANTWell, that's impossible, Zen. Even if someone had teleport facility, there's nothing and nowhere they could have come from, is there?
ZENThere is an intruder aboard.
DAYNAWell, how? And where? Zen?
ZENSensors cannot determine....
ZENComputers indicate a sustained electrical disturbance. Inboard sensors affected. There is an energy loss from all systems, all systems....
ZENThere is a.....
VILAWhat's happening?
TARRANTSomehow something is bleeding power out of this ship to use for itself. Zen's out of action. I'm going to shake Avon awake and get some guns. Dayna, you fetch Cally. I particularly want her with us. [Dayna starts to exit.] But Dayna, go carefully with her. [Dayna exits.]
VILAWhat's Cally supposed to have?
TARRANTNo time for a discussion, Vila. You stay here.
VILAStay here? Alone? [to himself] I hope. It's getting dark.

[Cally's cabin. Cally is lying on the bed.] Voice: Cally? Cally, are you listening to me? I know you can hear me now, fully. You heard only a suggestion of my voice before, yet you responded. You obeyed me almost from the beginning, Cally. A telepath. Rare. A wonderful find, wonderfully vulnerable. [Vision of Cally in the green robes, kneeling.] Cally, you've been so long alone. Cut off from your people. You've been homesick for your own world, your own kind, haven't you? For someone to communicate with. True communication: one brain speaking to another. But you won't ever be alone again, Cally. Not now, not for as long as you live.

[At corridor intersection. Dayna crouches and assumes a fighting stance when she hears someone approaching. She relaxes as Tarrant arrives, wearing one gun and carrying two more.]

TARRANTAvon's not in his cabin. Get to Cally. [Hands her a gun.] Here, you may need to keep her covered with your gun. Take her through to the flight deck. [Hands over a second gun.] Give Vila this gun and tell him, tell him to look after her.
DAYNAWill he do it?
TARRANTMake sure he does. You and I are going to comb this ship for Avon and for the intruder. Whatever it is. [They exit down different corridors. After they are gone, Avon steps into sight from a third.]

[Flight deck]

VILA[to ORAC]: I always said you were a useless pile of junk. [To himself] No point in being nervous, Vila. No, there isn't. Lot of shadows I never noticed before. Hi, shadows! I suppose that's all you are, just shadows. Don't think about that. No, I won't think about that. [Addressing the empty room] But, since you're all here: [Produces small flower from his mouth. Sound of applauding audience.] Oh, really. It wasn't that good. Just watch this: [Makes a handful of white grains disappear then reappear. Louder applause. Vila bows.] Well, thank you, you're too kind, too kind. [He notices Dayna's lyre laying on a bench.] I, the master of illusion, command you to play. [The strings vibrate and a series of chords begin to sound, to Vila's horror.] Eh? No, don't do that. I didn't mean it. Dayna? [Vision of Dayna in the aqua robes, playing the lyre. Vila, in orange robes, cowers.]
VILA[V.O.] You're always getting at me.
DAYNA[V.O.] Your helplessness brings out my sadistic streak.
VILAStop it! Don't! [The lyre begins to float about. Vila covers his ears and turn away, huddling on the floor. Vision of him in the orange robes doing the same. On his knees, Vila watches the lyre as if mesmerized.]

[Cally's cabin. Cally is lying on the bed, unconscious. The ring is gone from Cally's hand.]

DAYNA[enters] Cally? Cally. [shakes her] There's trouble, Cally. [shakes her] Come on, wake up. Wake up. [Turns as if she's heard something outside the door.] Avon? Vila? [Draws her gun and approaches the door cautiously. There is a flare of light and she screams, then falls unconscious.]

[Flight deck. The lyre is floating about, while a kneeling Vila stares at it. The lyre stops, silent, in midair. Vila crouches on the floor, covering his head with his arms. Vision of him in the orange robes doing the same. The lyre comes to rest on a seat.]

VILAIt didn't happen. No, of course it didn't. [Rises, limps to a seat.] Pins and needles. [Rubs his legs. The Alien sound begins, and a female hand, wearing the ring, touches him on the shoulder. He jumps up and looks behind him: nothing there. Then he sees the alien, who looks like Cally with red hair, off to the side. He approached, she raises her hand, there's a flash of light from it, and Vila falls down.]

[Cally's cabin. She is lying unconscious on her bed. Dayna is lying on the floor with Tarrant kneeling beside her.]

DAYNA[moans] Oooh.
TARRANTSo you're alive,
DAYNAI shouldn't be. I don't deserve to be, I'm sorry.
TARRANTI bet you are.
TARRANTShe's in some sort of coma. Describe what attacked you.
DAYNAWell, that's the point. It was Cally. But not Cally.
TARRANTSomehow something came off that alien ship and onto Liberator. To do it it used the device Cally brought with her and it used Cally. I don't understand how, if what was on the ship was dead, but there must have been something left, some kind of pure energy.
DAYNAIt looks like her and it has a body.
TARRANTThen it's used her as a blueprint to make itself a brand new physical shape, only the whole thing sounds crazy.
DAYNAOh, it's happening. And what hit me was real enough. It's feeding off the ship's energy and off Cally. It will kill her.
TARRANTI wonder what it's got planned for the rest of us? I just better get rid of it before it starts. [He turns to discover Avon is leaning against the doorway.]
AVONDo you want the applause now or will it wait?
TARRANTWhere were you?
AVONOutside, about twenty feet down the corridor. You carelessly managed to miss me both times you went by.
TARRANTOh, another game, hide and seek perhaps.
AVONI was watching this cabin.
AVONIsn't it obvious? We've been outmaneuvered. Teleport failures, mysterious alien artifacts. While you and I were pawing the ground, that thing managed to get Cally to reactivate the device in the correct sequence. Cally is the link all right, but short of killing her there wasn't much we could do to stop it. Whatever is now on this ship has sufficient psi abilities to drain the Liberator and Cally to the dregs. [helps Dayna to her feet and guides her to a seat while continuing to speak] It is also capable of throwing high voltage bouquets. If you want it, it's gone toward the flight deck. I followed it a little way. However, I wouldn't advise a headlong infantry charge.
TARRANTI'm sure you wouldn't. [Draws his gun and exits. Avon smiles.]

[Corridors. As Tarrant runs toward the flight deck he is intercut with visions of the conjured figure in scarlet doing the same things.]

[Flight deck. Vila is lying unconscious on the floor. Tarrant enters, sees the alien and fires at her to no effect.]

ALIENI'm afraid your rather temperamental weapons aren't stable anymore.
TARRANTWhat are you?
ALIENCally. Can't you see?
TARRANTCally is dying. D'you want that?
ALIENI have established a psychic link between us, she and I. If I let her go, she'll live. But I require her life energy to complete this shape. So she'll have to become a part of me. Not dead, absorbed. I'd never kill superfluously. You should bear that in mind.
TARRANT[Looking at Vila's still form] "Superfluous" may mean something different to you.
ALIENTarrant. [He looks up.] Yes, I know your name, just as I know your language. To my people death is an interim state. But to humans death is death. That makes you very simple to deal with.
TARRANTDon't bet on that.
ALIENBut you can't fight me. Only the Auron girl could have done that, but she left it too late. Part of her welcomed me. You see, I could reach her mind. When she tried to close the door against me, it was emotionally impossible. Besides, how could she have true loyalties to any non-telepath, any human?
TARRANTNormally only an Auron can contact another Auron. Your psi powers must be extremely advanced.
ALIENThey are.
TARRANTBut still you needed that device to bring you through.
ALIENMy people have learned how to boost their psychic capabilities by means of high technology.
TARRANTYou disrupted the systems of this ship. That isn't going to help you.
ALIENYou underestimate your vessel. It's largely capable of regeneration and the power source is virtually limitless. Yes, I think I will accept your ship as your gift to me. You call it Liberator, don't you? How very apt.
TARRANTPresumably you could kill us all. So why haven't you?
ALIENI told you, I don't kill superfluously. When I was alive before, I was accustomed to being served by intelligent menials. I'm prepared to offer you all a choice. You can live as my--
TARRANTIntelligent menials?
ALIENDon't let a mere two words prevent you from staying alive.
TARRANTYou underestimate your powers of expression.
ALIENCome now. [Vision of the man in scarlet/Tarrant and the woman in aqua/Dayna and the man in orange/Vila gathered about her as the alien/Cally passes a white dove to the man in red/Tarrant.] Would it be so very horrible to serve me, to be my protector? Would it be so soul-destroying, Tarrant? It was predicted that I would find you. That I would live again because of each of you. And your roles in my new life, they were predicted too. [Tarrant attempts to strike the alien but she vanishes, leaving his arm to pass through empty air.]
ALIEN[from a new position] Or you CAN die. I like to be waited on but it isn't essential. As far as the computers are concerned, my voice print is the same as Cally's. I can soon learn how to control the ship. I've already learned how to cripple it. [Vila moves and moans. She indicates Vila] That one interests me. He has a very high IQ and yet he acts like an imbecile. He'll make an ideal pet.
TARRANT[lunges to panel and pushes a switch] Dayna!
ALIEN[Lifts hand, glowing with white light] Stay where you are. Do I really have to kill you to prove you're in the presence of a superior?
TARRANT[groans with pain, then smiles and lifts hands placatingly] All right. That was a stupid move.
ALIENYes, stupid. I have a world, a planet, a home. I mean to get there.
TARRANTA planet? Where?
ALIENA world that would take more than your lifetime to reach. A world more beautiful than any other. A world you'll never see even if I let you live. [Lifts glowing hand again.] You need instruction, human called Tarrant. [Tarrant cries out and falls down.] Rather than render you unconscious I want you to experience that pain. I want you to think about it. The girl who sings songs would do well to learn by your example. [Dayna, standing in the doorway, aims her gun.] Throw that away. Away, I said. [Dayna hesitates, then obeys. She crosses to kneel beside Tarrant.]
TARRANT[to Dayna] Cally?
DAYNAShe's hardly even breathing.
ALIENCally, Tarrant, Dayna, Vila. One is missing.
ALIEN[laughs] Remember my mental link with Cally. Naturally I know who is here and who isn't, particularly if it's Avon. Where is he, Dayna? [silence] Very well, let me guess: he's outside in the corridor as you were before he failed to stop you rushing in here.
AVON[enters] As a matter of fact, I didn't try to stop her. I just got out of her way.
ALIENI don't think you should look at me like that.
AVONDon't you?
ALIENI might interpret it as insolence, which could be uncomfortable for you.
AVONCould it?
ALIENYes, it could, Avon. But you are always practical, aren't you? Have you decided to accept my terms?
AVONHave you offered some?
ALIEN[laughs] You will have heard me, I think, from the corridor, just as you watched me earlier from the other corridor.
AVONI didn't hear any terms, just something about "pets."
ALIENCally would want you to live, I know that.
AVONIt must get tiresome for you, knowing so much.
VILAAvon! Say you'll do as she says.
DAYNAVila! Be quiet!
ALIENHe has an unusually sharp intelligence, which can recognize when it's beaten. I might forgive him for wanting to steal my ring.
AVONCally stole your ring.
ALIENCally was supposed to. I hope you made her a touching farewell.
AVONShe's not dead ... yet.
ALIENBut she won't struggle, not against me. [Shot of Cally lying on her bed.] I'm waiting for your answer. [Avon starts to walk around the panel between them.] Stay where you are. [He continues to approach her. Shot of Cally on her bed, stirring.] Very well, now you can see me properly. [She "magically" shifts to a slightly different postion and Avon jerks his head to refocus on her.] I like you, Avon. You're stronger than the rest. Cally liked you. You can console yourself now I'm so very much in her image. I could even think and feel as she does. You and I can be friends.
AVONYou surprise me.
ALIENYou know that I wouldn't wish to make a slave of you, don't you? Not you.
AVONIt's a pity you couldn't get rid of me earlier, wasn't it, and Vila, when you jammed the teleport so that only Cally would get out of your coffin alive.
ALIENI was mistaken.
AVONYes, Cally wouldn't leave us to die, so you had to let the three of us through, very reluctantly. You knew where the danger would be right from the start.
AVONYou are taking this ship precisely nowhere.
ALIENDon't be foolish. You spoil yourself. But I'll be patient with you. I've waited centuries. I can afford a few moments until you can bring yourself to consent to be obliging.
AVONAnd no one aboard this ship is going to accept or carry out a single demand of yours.
ALIENYou've seen what I can do.
AVONIt would be a little difficult to miss.
ALIENDon't try to play games with me.
AVONNothing was further from my mind. [Alien sound effect begins.] You've given us your terms, now I will give you ours: no deal.
ALIEN[Her robes start blowing as if a breeze had sprung up] I thought you were the clever one. You're a fool, like Tarrant. The pain Tarrant is experiencing ... visualize that pain and much more. [Shot of Cally tossing her head back and forth.] You're as close to death as you have ever been. Think about human death, Avon. Irrevocable.
AVONI have thought about it. What's keeping you?
ALIENWhat did you say?
AVONYou claim you can kill me. You better get on with it. Make me die. There's nothing else you can make me do. [Steps right up to her.]
ALIEN[Electrical bolts flash from her face, exploding the control stations. Shot of Cally thrashing about in her bed.] One last chance. [She raises her arm threateningly.]
AVON[looks at her upraised hand and gives a slight, contemptuous smile] Save it. [More panels explode and burn. The alien screams in anger and frustration. Cally's voice shouts "NO". Shot of Cally sitting up in her bed.] It seems you made another mistake. Cally has loyalties after all. But you knew that right from the beginning, didn't you? [He reaches up and grasps her wrist, then pulls her arm behind her back, embracing her. The alien sound effect stops.] You look so beautiful when you're angry. [He kisses her. While she is distracted he slips the ring from her finger, then brings it around and holds it in front of her face.] Thank you.
ALIENGive it to me.
AVONThat would be a little foolish, when I just went to so much trouble to get it.
ALIENYou don't understand.
AVONDon't I? Psychic abilities boosted by high technology? This ring is the real source of your power, isn't it? [During a close-up shot of the ring you can see that the setting surrounding the stone is the same as the ring that framed earlier shots of Cally's eye and the Liberator.] This is how you formed your link with Cally and you cannot hold her or feed off this ship without it.
ALIENAvon! Avon, give it back to me. [Vision of Avon as the man in black, holding the smoking bowl.] You must. You don't know. I HAVE to keep this body. I have to live. I've waited so long. Centuries. More time than you could comprehend. How can you imagine what it must be like to be dead, to exist in nothingness, in nowhere. Blind, deaf, dumb, and yet to be sentient, aware, waiting. Centuries of waiting. I have to find my world again, my people, my home. I want to breathe and see and feel. And know. Don't send me back into the dark, Avon, let me live. [Vision of Avon as the figure in black, with the smoking bowl. He turns the bowl over and spills white grains out onto the ground. Avon throws the ring into one of the burning consoles where it explodes.]
ALIEN[Her voice gradually dies away as the alien turns back into the dried-up corpse, then vanishes]: I want to live, to live. I want to live, to live, to live. I want to live, to live, to live. I want to...... [Avon looks over at Tarrant, Dayna and Vila kneeling on the floor, then over at the door where Cally is standing with tears on her face.]

[Flight deck. Dayna and Vila are seated on some of the lounges.]

VILAAll right. Cally was telepathically linked into that thing. So Avon gambled that Cally could be shocked into fighting it, and that it couldn't kill him because Cally wouldn't let it. And it worked. But that means that Cally sat back while it had a go at all the rest of us. I've always liked Cally.
DAYNAYou're being pedantic, Vila.
DAYNAWell, in the end, it wasn't trying to kill us, just Avon. He'd pushed it into a corner where it couldn't do anything else.
VILAWhat d'you mean, it wasn't trying to kill us? It nearly killed me when it fixed the teleport.
DAYNAWell, that was before it totally linked with Cally. She didn't have any influence over it except that it had to protect her. Anyway, Avon was the target then, too. You were incidental.
VILA"Incidental"? That'll look good on my gravestone. It nearly killed Cally.
DAYNAIt was absorbing her rather than killing her. Making her part of itself. She felt that, too, that's why she couldn't fight for herself.
VILAThat doesn't make sense to me.
DAYNAWell, then obviously it's the right answer.
ZENAll systems have been restored to maximum capacity. The Liberator is now fully operational.
VILAAt least Zen's talking to us again. [Sound effect of ORAC working.] And even ORAC's back on his feet.
DAYNAWhat a revolting thought!
VILAYou should be used to those. [Avon, Tarrant and Cally enter and move to their control stations. Dayna rises and moves to hers.]
TARRANTYou sure you're up to this, Cally?
AVONTranslated, that means how do you feel?
CALLYI feel all right. Thank you.
TARRANT[looking pointedly at Vila] And how about you, Vila?
VILAOh, I'm ...[turns, sees Tarrant's expression.] Oh, I see. [Rises and moves to his control station.]
AVON[Turns to look at Cally. She returns his gaze. After a few seconds she smiles very slightly.] Zen, let's get out of here.

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