Script for Termina

written by Terry Nation

directed by Mary Ridge

(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) 1992 by Micky DuPree and Betsy Ramsey. Transcribed by Betsy Ramsey. Proofread by Micky Dupree, Susan Clerc, and Valerie Hill.

Dramatis Personae

Kerr Avon
Vila Restal
Del Tarrant
Dayna Mellanby
Roj Blake
Sphere Voice

[Liberator flight deck. Avon is standing with his hands covering his face. He lowers his hands.]

AVONZen, are we on schedule?

ZENThe flight is nine seconds in advance of prediction. Propulsion computers are amending.

AVONWill we be at the rendezvous on time? That's all I want to know.

ZENReadouts confirm space-time position will be precisely as requested.

AVONKeep monitoring all systems. I do not want even a fractional error.


[Teleport room. Dayna and Cally are playing a board game. Vila is kibitzing.]

VILAThat was it! Go on, you've got her! What are you waiting for?

DAYNAWell, I'm not sure. It's risky.

VILAMake the move. You'll wipe her out.

DAYNAAre you sure you can't read my mind, Cally?

CALLYOf course I can't. Even if I could, I wouldn't. That WOULD be cheating.

VILAGo on, make the move. Take my word for it. Remember, I play this game right up to Galactic Master standards.

DAYNAWell, all right, if you're sure.

VILAJust do it. Trust me. [To Cally] Let's see you get out of that, then.

CALLYMy game in nine thousand seven hundred and twenty-one moves.

DAYNA"Galactic Master." Thanks a lot.

VILAWasn't my fault. Cally responded with the wrong move. If she'd made the right one, she'd have lost that game.

CALLYDo you want another?

DAYNAWhy not? There's nothing else to do. [Tarrant enters.]

TARRANTWhat are you all doing in here?

CALLYKeeping out of Avon's way.

DAYNAHe's not much fun at the moment.

TARRANT[to Vila] Aren't you supposed to be on watch?

VILAAvon's doing it.

TARRANTStill?! He's been on that flight deck more than thirty hours now.

VILAI offered. He said he was handling things and would I please leave. No, that's not true. He didn't say anything. He yelled. Told me to get out and stay out.

CALLYSame with me.

DAYNAAnd me.

TARRANTWhat the hell is he up to?

DAYNAWell, why don't you ask him?

TARRANTWhy don't I do that?

CALLYRather you than me. [Tarrant exits]

VILA[calling after him] Watch yourself.

[Flight deck. Avon and Tarrant are present.]

AVONI'm tired, but I would like the flight deck to myself for a while longer.

TARRANTNo problem.

AVONThank you.

TARRANTAvon, are we still on route for Calipheron? Are we?


TARRANTYou've changed course?


TARRANTYou had no right to do that.

AVONThere was no time for a committee meeting.

TARRANTYou should have told us. If your reasons for changing course were sound nobody would have given you an argument.

AVONThere's always an argument. My reasons for changing course were sound. You can take my word for it.

TARRANTSo tell us where we're going. Tell us why.


TARRANTAnd we're just meant to sit by quietly and let you do it, whatever it is.

AVONThat's exactly what you're meant to do. You and the rest of them owe me--


AVON--and I am calling in the debt. With or without your approval it is going to be done.

TARRANTHow do we approve of something we don't know about?

AVONYou could try trusting me.

TARRANTAll right, Avon, we'll try trusting you. Just don't expect us to make a habit of it.

AVONI don't. [Tarrant starts to leave, but stays when Zen speaks]

ZENInformation. Navigation instructions completed. Liberator holding requested position.

AVONScan, three-sixty orbital.

ZENConfirmed. [Visual scan appears]

TARRANTThere's nothing out there. We're in the middle of nowhere. [Liberator exterior.]

TARRANT[V.O.] We must be light years away from any populated planet.

AVON[V.O.] Zen, nearest planet capable of supporting carbon-based life.

ZEN[V.O.] Disentastra.

AVON[V.O.] Transit time at standard by eight.

ZEN[V.O.] Ninety-six hours, seventeen minutes, and four point three zero three seconds. [Flight deck.]

AVONThere is nothing closer?

ZENAll systems confirm Disentastra as nearest life-supporting planet.

AVONWhy here? Why bring me here?

TARRANTDo you want to tell me about it now?

AVONI have followed all the instructions to the letter, but it doesn't make sense.


AVONI first heard the signal--

ZENComputers are receiving the identifying call sign as stipulated.

AVONThen it's all right. Zen, you will remain silent until further instructed.


AVONWould you mind leaving now?

TARRANTYes, I would.

AVONBut you'll do it anyway.

TARRANTSooner or later you're going to tell us, Avon. [Exits]

AVONZen, are you still receiving the signal?


AVONIs it genuine?

ZENFull-range analyses confirm the signal is from the original message source.

AVONCan you trace that source?

ZENThe signal is being redirected and boosted through a communications satellite. Trace to origin is not possible. Identifying call sign has ended. Message transmission has begun.

AVONPut it on audio. No, hold that. [Glances over shoulder] Give me direct visual readout at my flight console.


AVON[He reads unintelligible gibberish.] Is that all?

ZENTransmission has ceased.

AVONUse the frequency listed. Acknowledge receipt of message and advise I will cooperate.


AVONHave you got the new locations?


AVONProgram the navigation computers. Get us started.


[Teleport room. All but Avon are present. Avon enters.]

AVONYou can take the watch now, Vila.

VILAWonderful. I've been looking forward to that.

TARRANTWhere are we going, Avon?

AVONProfound philosophical questions never really interested me.

TARRANTNot up to your usual standard.

AVONYes, well, I'm tired.

TARRANTAvon, where is the ship headed?

AVONTo tell you the truth, I haven't the faintest idea.

[Flight deck. Tarrant, Vila, Dayna, Cally enter.]

TARRANTZen, I want a fast summary of all communications coming into and going out of this ship within the last fifty hours.

ZENThat information is not available.

TARRANTWhy isn't it available?

ZENThe information you require has been stored via a coded route, and retrieval is not possible without the correct security command sequence.

CALLYAnd that sequence is known only to Avon, I imagine.


VILAYou've got to hand it to Avon: he knows how to keep a secret. He probably won't even talk to himself.

[Liberator approaches a region of space that contains a glowing red cloud-like substance.]

[Flight deck. Tarrant, Dayna, Cally, Vila are present.]

ZENInformation. Forward sensors indicate a broad spread of unidentified matter across predicted flight path.


ZENPreliminary readings have failed to identify the nature of the material.


ZENMinute fluid particles.



TARRANTIf we go through this matter, is there any risk of hull penetration?

ZENNegative. Detectors register a high level of energy within the band that might generate flight turbulence. [Avon appears in corridor.]

TARRANTWhat do you think?

DAYNAWell, it doesn't sound too dangerous.

CALLYWell, we've been through turbulence before.

AVON[joining them] What's going on?

TARRANTCloud of fluid particles up ahead. They can't be identified as yet.

AVONZen, put it on the main screen.

CALLYApparently it's energy charged, so it could shake us about a bit.

VILALet's be on the safe side and go around it.

AVONNo, we stay on course.

TARRANTNow look, this involves all of us. I can't think of a good reason why we should take any risks, and you're not about to give me one, are you. Zen, recommendations.

ZENThe consensus of computer systems favor a course deviation to avoid contact. In this environment, it is prudent to treat any unexplained phenomenon as potentially dangerous.

VILAIsn't that what I just said? With a brain like mine, who needs computers?

AVONZen, maintain present course, no deviation. Status one, subcategory Q, no countermand.


TARRANT[stops Avon with his hand] That is it, Avon. I've had it. Either you tell us what it's all about or we're going to stop it.

AVONNo, you're not. Nothing and nobody is going to stop it, you least of all. Now get out of my way, and stay out of my way. [He has produced a gun and is pointing it at Tarrant's stomach. He exits.]

CALLYYou were lucky. He meant it. He was going to kill you.

TARRANTI got that impression myself.

DAYNA[looking at viewscreen] We're getting close. Better take position.

[Liberator enters the enzyme field. Turbulence rocks the flight deck.]

[Teleport room. Avon hangs on during the turbulence.]

AVONI hope it's worth all this.

[Flight deck.]

TARRANTHow much more, Zen?

ZENEmergence from matter belt in thirty-nine point zero one seconds.

TARRANTAny damage yet?

ZENHull sensors appear temporarily impaired. All other systems continue on full function.

[Liberator exits the enzyme field.]

[Flight deck.]

TARRANTIs everybody all right?

DAYNAYes. [simultaneous with]

CALLYFine, thank you.

VILAAll that shaking about didn't do my kidneys any good.

TARRANTZen, damage report.

ZENHull sensors still inoperative. Auto-repair circuits activated. There is no other damage. Visual scan reveals minute particles of matter adhering to the hull. [Liberator exterior.]

TARRANT[V.O.] Any problems with that?

ZEN[V.O.] No problem is apparent.

TARRANT[V.O.] All right, the alert is over. [A substance is starting to corrode Liberator's hull.]

[Flight deck. Avon, Tarrant, Vila, Cally are present. Avon is holding the gun.]


AVONRight on time.

ZENNavigation instructions completed. Calculated position is confirmed. Computers are receiving the correct identifying call sign.

AVONAcknowledge receipt of signal and stand by for message.


TARRANTAll right, Avon, so we've arrived. Where?

AVONWe should be somewhere in the region of Delta seven one four.

TARRANTWhich is?

AVONOne of the stars on the edge of Sector Six.

TARRANTSo why don't we take a look? Zen, scan, three-sixty orbital.

AVONDelta seven one four is a blind sun. It has no planetary system at all.

VILANo planets? Then what's that, a cosmic conjuring trick?

AVON[turns to look at screen] Zen, is that a planet?

ZENThe object on scan was constructed by a consortium of United Planets scientists four hundred and eleven years ago. It was code-named "Terminal".

TARRANTTerminal? The records say she broke up.

AVONYou've heard of it?

TARRANTOnly as a historical curiosity. The intention was to build an artificial planet. It was sprayed with organic materials in the hope that it would naturalize, and eventually create all the conditions to develop and sustain life. It was just a gigantic laboratory in a way. But she was originally positioned in solar orbit out towards Mars.

VILASo what's she doing out here?

TARRANTYou tell me. I still haven't got over the fact that she exists.

AVONZen, is there life on Terminal?

ZENData banks do not have that information. Spectro analysis indicates a breathable atmosphere and Earth-level gravity. Surface water and vegetation appear to be abundant.

TARRANTAll right, so we've found a long-lost planet. Now, do you want to tell us why we're here?

ZENMessage transmission has begun. The signal emanates from Terminal.

AVONRelay to my position. [He reads some more electronic gibberish.]

ZENMessage ends.

AVONAcknowledge, and advise I will cooperate. [To Tarrant] I'll need about five minutes. If you ask the others to come to the teleport, I'll tell you what you need to know. [exits]

TARRANTAnd not before time.

[The substance continues to corrode Liberator's hull.]

[Teleport room. All are present.]

AVONAll right, now listen. I don't know what to expect or how long this will take me. I'll call in every hour on the hour, but if I miss one transmission, get out of here.

CALLYWhat? You mean leave you on Terminal? Abandon you?

AVONThat's exactly what I mean. Keep the ship on full alert. At the slightest hint of danger, the same thing applies: move out fast.

TARRANTOh, come on, Avon. Look, we've been through a lot together. We've always been at risk; we've always taken chances. But we've survived because we worked as a team. So what is it you have to do that makes this so different?

AVONThis happens to be my problem. None of you are involved.

DAYNABut we are involved. However much you like to pretend you're a loner, you're not really. We depend on each other. I wouldn't be alive now if it wasn't for you, and I'm sure that's true of everybody else. So why not trust us?

VILALook, you don't have to give reasons. You don't even have to explain. Whatever it is, we'll back you up.

CALLYOr, if you want one of your own cold, rational explanations, we can't afford to lose you.

AVONSentiment breeds weakness. Let it get a hold of you and you are dead. I have already programmed Zen. In precisely twelve hours, the ship will set course for Calipheron. You cannot override it. After that, it will come back under your command. Go where you want, but stay away from Terminal.

TARRANTYou seem to have thought of everything.

AVONI have also recorded a full explanation of everything I am doing. Zen will not issue it until you are in flight. It's very detailed. The only thing missing is the end. [Moves for the bay.] Operate, will you, Dayna? One last thing. I don't need any of you. I needed the Liberator to bring me here so I had no choice but to bring you along, but this is as far as you go. I don't want you with me. I don't want you following me. Understand this: anyone who does follow me, I'll kill them. All right, Dayna.

[Terminal planet surface. (A heartbeat-like sound can be heard at all times on the Terminal surface.) Avon looks around.]

AVON[into bracelet] Down and safe. And if this is an example of a man-made planet, they ought to get back to the drawing board and start again. [V.O.] I'll contact you again in precisely one hour. [Into bracelet] Out. [He begins walking.]

[Teleport room. Everyone is still present.]

TARRANTShift the coordinates by half a point. I don't want to land too close to him.

VILAI got the distinct impression he wanted to be alone.

TARRANTWell, we can't always have what we want, Vila.

VILAI had noticed.

CALLYI'll come with you.

TARRANTFine, let's get kitted up. [Tarrant and Cally exit.]

VILAAvon isn't going to like this.

DAYNAAvon isn't going to know about it.

VILAI wouldn't like to bet my life on that.

[Terminal surface. Avon is walking.]

[Teleport room. Tarrant, Cally, Vila and Dayna are present.]

VILAWhat are you going to do if he spots you?

TARRANTDuck. You set, Cally?


TARRANTPut us down, Dayna.

[Terminal surface. Tarrant and Cally duck into cover.]

TARRANTStay low. [Looks around] Do you want the good news or the bad news?

CALLYSurprise me.

TARRANTThe good news is Avon doesn't know we're here. The bad news is he's nowhere in sight. He seems to have vanished.

[Terminal surface. Avon stops to reference a hand-held device he's carrying, then continues on. He is being observed by two beings, Reeval and Toron, each using a monocular.]

REEVALThere he is, Toron. He's moving towards the contact point.

TORONI've got him.

REEVALHe seems to be cooperating, following instructions.

TORONSo far. At least he appears to be alone. Reeval, something moving, about a quarter of a mile behind him.

REEVALCan't see it.

TORONI only got a glimpse. Went into cover.


TORONNo, probably a link.

REEVALAnd if there's one, there's more. If they pick up Avon's trail, well, they'll attack. He won't stand a chance. They'll tear him to pieces.

TORONTime we moved.

[Terminal surface. Avon approaches an obelisk. A beam shuts off as he nears the obelisk. The obelisk opens to reveal a sphere.]

SPHEREThis directional indicator has been programmed to activate only when the identity of the holder has been confirmed. Take the sphere in both hands and state your name. [Avon picks it up and holds it in one hand.] You were instructed to hold the sphere in both hands. [Avon complies.] State name.

AVONMy name is Avon.
SPHEREPalm and voice prints confirm identity. You will follow the indicated route. You are warned that the slightest deviation from this course could result in considerable danger. Directional indicator will now activate. [Avon heads off in the indicated direction with the sphere. The obelisk closes when he leaves.]

[Terminal surface. Tarrant and Cally make their way through a wooded area.]

TARRANTCally. [They hide as Reeval and Toron approach. Once they are past, Tarrant and Cally come out of hiding.]

CALLYI'll tell the ship what we're doing. [Into bracelet] Liberator, Cally.

DAYNA[V.O.] We read you, Cally, go ahead.

CALLY[into bracelet] We've lost track of Avon but are now following two unidentified humanoids.

DAYNA[V.O.] Understood. [Liberator exterior. The hull is corroding.]

DAYNA[V.O.] I am taking a locator fix on your transmission. Make contact when you can and we'll keep track of your movements. [Terminal surface.]

CALLY[into bracelet] Confirmed. Out.

[Teleport room. Dayna is present. Unnoticed by Dayna, the substance has started dripping down the walls. Dayna exits.]

[Flight deck. Vila is at his station. Dayna enters.]

VILACome and check this for me, will you? These readings don't seem to make sense.

DAYNAWhat's the problem?

VILAWe're registering very high-level discharge from the energy banks.

DAYNAHmm, that can't be right. We only require minimal output to hold fixed orbit and maintain normal systems.

VILAWell, I know, but look at that.

DAYNAWe're exceeding our regenerative capacity! Banks four and seven are drained. Have you checked this with Zen?

VILAI only just noticed it.

DAYNAZen, report on the status of the energy bank instrumentation.

ZENInstruments are reading accurately.

VILAThen why the massive power drain?

ZENAuto-repair circuits are working at maximum capacity. Damage exceeds rectification capability.

DAYNADamage? What damage?

ZENThat information is not available.

VILAWhat do you mean, not available? Either we are damaged, or we're not. Now which is it?

ZENThe continuing malfunction of hull sensors is limiting data for analysis. Operational systems indicate that the damage is widespread but superficial.

DAYNAThe nature of the damage. What's causing it?

ZENUnconfirmed analysis suggests unidentified enzyme activity resulting in molecular metamorphosis.

VILAThank you, Zen. That's a big help.

DAYNAZen, it is vital that we have more information. Divert all computer functions to total investigation.

ZEN[gibberish speech] Confirmed. Minor damage to primary translator unit makes temporary closedown of speech circuits necessary. You will be advised when full function is restored.

VILAWhat's all that about? What's happening?

DAYNAI don't know, but I think it's time for the others to come back. [They exit. The substance has appeared on the flight deck wall.]

[Teleport room. Dayna and Vila see the substance, now covering a good portion of the walls and equipment. They exchange a worried look.]

[Terminal surface. Avon approaches a structure, still holding the sphere.]

SPHEREHalt. Guidance program now completed.

AVONIt's been nice talking to you. [Tosses sphere away. Approaches and investigates structure entrance. Hears something, whirls, drawing gun. A door hums open. Whirls back, then approaches again. Calls down.] Is there anyone there? [It echoes. He holsters his gun and climbs inside, then down a ladder. The door hums shut. He climbs down until he reaches bottom. He looks around.] Anybody here?

[Terminal surface. Reeval and Toron stand outside the structure.]

TORONShall we go down?

REEVALLet's be on the safe side.

TORONKeep your eyes open. I'll have a look round. [Tarrant and Cally are behind some brush observing them.]

TARRANTWhat are they hanging about for?

CALLYPerhaps that's as far as they're going.

TARRANTAnd where the hell is Avon? [Reeval is attacked by links. Toron tries to go to her aid, but he is attacked and overcome as well.]

CALLYWe've got to help them!

TARRANTNo. It's too late. There's nothing we can do. [The links rip at Reeval and Toron's clothing.]

[Inside structure. Avon ducks around a corner as Kostos passes. When she has gone, he enters the room she came from. He finds a teleport bracelet. He activates a console. Blake's image appears on a viewscreen.]

AVON[reading from the console] "The patient's condition continues to improve. Life support systems were closed down for ten minutes extra today, bringing the total to three hours. During this time ... Blake ... showed no apparent signs of distress. All prescribed medication was administered." [He looks up to the viewscreen] So he is alive. Blake is alive.

[He exits and heads down a corridor. A light is suddenly activated behind him. He turns, shielding his face with his arms. He is struck in the hand with a dart. He begins to fall, managing to pluck the dart out before hitting the floor unconscious. Three booted figures come stand around him.]

KOSTOSLet it begin.

[Flight deck. Vila and Dayna are present. The substance is covering many of the room's surfaces.]

VILAIt's eating into everything! Metal, plastics, fibers, [scraping substance away from console in front of Zen] just rotting away. Maybe we should try and contact the others again.

DAYNAThere's no point.

VILAMight have just been a blind spot.

DAYNAOr a malfunction. How do we know? Look at this. There's total drain on three of the energy banks, maximum discharge on all the others. In a couple of hours we'll have nothing in reserve.

VILAWe've got to slow the outflow.


VILAThere is a way, but first we must get Zen back online. Zen, this is a priority command overriding all other requirements. Come online. Repeat: Zen, this is a priority command. Come online!

ZEN[gibberish speech]

DAYNATranslator units are still on the blink.

ZEN[gibberish speech] Confirmed. [Speech is now slow and halting.] State speed and course. Computer circuits have now been rerouted and as requested are now online.

VILAZen, I want all the auto-repair systems closed down.

DAYNAYou can't do that!

VILAWe've got to. They're fighting a losing battle and burning up the energy banks. [To Zen] Concentrate everything you've got on keeping the computer systems functioning. Maximize investigation and research into the nature of whatever's causing the damage and find a solution.

ZENDangerous structural weaknesses have already-- have already-- already developed in many areas. Auto-repair circuits are delaying further weakening.

VILADelaying, not halting. I want all-out computer effort on investigation. If you can come up with an answer soon enough, we might still have enough power left to start getting things working. Confirm. Confirm!

ZENConfirmed. [They check the instrumentation.]

VILAHe's doing it.

DAYNABut without the auto-repair, this stuff's going to speed up.

VILAI'm going to try Tarrant again.

DAYNAThere's no chance Avon left Orac's key on the ship somewhere.

VILANo, he took it all right. Orac's just a useless bunch of junk. He should feel right at home in this lot.

[Structure interior. Avon, unconscious, is wheeled down a corridor on a gurney.]

[Terminal surface. Tarrant and Cally approach the structure.]

CALLYWhat do you make of it?

TARRANTSome sort of shaft cover. Could explain where Avon vanished to. Damn. Electrostatic lock. It needs a sonal key.

CALLY[nods towards the bodies] They might have it.

TARRANTI'll check. [Examines the bodies] This could be it. [Looks up, becomes alarmed] Cally! [Cally turns at his warning just as a link attacks her from behind. Tarrant rises to help her, but is also attacked. Tarrant fights off his attacker and pulls Cally's attacker off her. Tarrant is attacked again. Cally opens the door with the key, shoots a link, and climbs inside. Tarrant wins free, climbs inside, and shoots a link. The door closes. Cally drops the key, which falls down the shaft.]

CALLYI hope you hadn't planned on going back up again.

TARRANTNot immediately. From here on, it's downhill all the way.

[Structure interior. Avon is still unconscious. A microphone-like device is positioned above Avon's head and a machine activated. Avon's eyes flutter open. He finds himself in a room, alone. He notes the dart wound on his hand. He exits and walks down a corridor. He ducks as two guards walk by, then continues on. He looks through a window in a door and sees a man lying on a bed or table. He enters. The man is dressed in a white full-length gown or robe with bare feet, and is attached by tubes to a machine. Avon approaches to look down at him. The man looks like Blake, although he has a beard; he is not awake.]


BLAKE[wakes up] Well, you certainly took your time finding me.

AVONThere didn't seem to be any hurry. Anyway, I always said I could manage very well without you.

BLAKEIt must have been so dull having no one to argue with.

AVONWell, now, there were times when your simple-minded certainties might have been refreshing.

BLAKECareful, Avon. Your sentiment is showing.

AVONThat's your imagination. Now, are you going to tell me about this discovery that is going to make us rich and invincible?

BLAKEI'll take you to it.

AVONYou mean after I get you out of the mess you've got yourself into? Just like old times?

BLAKENot that easy this time. The lightning raid...snatch me from the jaws of death isn't on, I'm afraid. Taken off this life support system I wouldn't survive for more than three or four hours.

AVONWe'll have the whole thing duplicated on the Liberator.

BLAKENo good. I wouldn't survive the teleport transfer. THEY calculate it'll take at least three months before I can start to move again. [Beeping begins] That's a treatment timer. They'll be here in a few minutes. They'll find YOU.

AVONIt seems unlikely that you'll be moving far. I know where to find you. I'll be back. [Avon exits and starts back down the corridor. He hides as a guard passes, then continues on. As he enters a room, he is met by a guard with a drawn gun. Avon slowly backs down the corridor and is hit from behind. He falls. He looks up and sees Kostos and a male guard, but his vision blurs and he falls unconscious. He then is back in the room with the microphone-like device and machine. His eyes slowly close.]

KOSTOSIt is completed. Get him out of there. Quickly, now. We must keep the continuity right. [They drag him to the corridor. She injects him.] Wake him. [A guard kicks Avon twice. He gasps and wakes up] Come on, on your feet. Get up. [Avon looks up, his vision blurry at first, and sees Kostos and the guard again. He gets up.] Now walk.

[Control room. Avon enters under guard with Kostos. Servalan is present.]

SERVALANAvon. How very nice to see you again. You look well. No, no, actually that's not true. You look rather tired. Why don't you sit down?

AVONThank you. It's less painful than being knocked down.

SERVALANHave my people been treating you badly? Oh, I do apologize. I shall reprimand them most severely. [To the others] You may go. [Kostos snaps her fingers and she and the guards exit.] You don't seem surprised to see me.

AVONIf it was a trap, it had to be yours. The precise planning, the meticulous detail, the general flair, who else could it be.

SERVALANThank you. That you of all people should appreciate my work is very flattering.

AVONI thought it might be.

SERVALANMm. I must admit that when I started beaming messages to the Liberator I was worried you might not believe them.

AVONI didn't.

SERVALANWhat convinced you?

AVONWhen you transmitted the recording of Blake's voice, Zen did a print analysis and confirmed that the voice could be genuine. On the strength of that, I had to follow it up.

SERVALANI never doubted you would. What about the others? Were they convinced?

AVONI told them nothing about it.

SERVALANYou were afraid they might not want to help you find Blake.

AVONOn the contrary, I was sure that they would, but they can get a little overenthusiastic, a little careless.

SERVALANSo rather than let them walk into what might be a trap, you decided to do it all on your own. How very noble of you.

AVONI thought so.

SERVALANOf course, it had nothing to do with not wanting to share Blake's mysterious discovery.

AVONNothing at all. [chuckles]

SERVALAN[chuckles] Well, let me reassure you. You weren't entirely misled. Blake is alive and if not well, at least on the road to recovery. More important, he is MY prisoner. Naturally I wouldn't expect you to take my word for it, so you may see him and talk to him.

AVONI already have.


AVONYour security is not very efficient.

SERVALANYou were supposed to be held in close custody.

AVONIt's not very important. Let's get down to terms. I want Blake's freedom. What do you want?

SERVALAN[points to screen displaying the Liberator] That. A straight exchange. You get Blake and whatever it is he's discovered, and I get the Liberator.

[Structure interior. Tarrant and Cally enter a room.]

TARRANTWatch the door. You ever seen anything like this before?

CALLYI don't think so. What is it?

TARRANTI'm not sure. I mean, I recognize some of the components. [Points] That's a voice synthesizer, [points] vocabulary bank.

CALLYThat looks like a visual image structurizer.

DAYNA[V.O.] Tarrant, Cally.

TARRANT[into bracelet] Tarrant. Come in, Liberator.

DAYNA[V.O. switching to normal] At last! We've been trying to reach you for hours. Listen, the ship is in bad trouble. [Liberator exterior; the corrosion is worse.] There's massive structural damage and systems breakdown. Energy reserves have fallen well below danger level. Destruction is beyond the capacity of the auto-repair circuits, and we're even getting computer failure. Zen's latest analysis is that the molecular destructuring is accelerating.

[Flight deck. Vila is standing before Zen.]

ZENState course and speed. Blake. Cally. Confirmed. Confirmed. Confirmed, standard by five. Dysfunction of computer banks seven, nine and four. Recircuiting.

VILAHow long, Zen?

ZENIncalculable. Whilst in zero-gravity fixed orbit, the ship will remain viable for some hours.

VILAAnd if we try to move?

ZENThe extreme structural stress of propulsion would probably result in disintegration. Dysfunction--

DAYNA[enters] I got them -- [Vila shushes her.]

ZEN-- dysfunction on computer banks three and six. All resources now concentrated on maintenance of teleport facilities. I-- I have failed you.

VILAHe never referred to himself before. He never once used the word "I".

ZENI have failed you. I am sorry. I have--

VILAHe's dying. Zen is dying.

[Structure interior. Tarrant and Cally are still in the room.]

CALLYShould we teleport back?

TARRANTI don't see how that would help. We need Avon. He's the computer genius. It's just possible he could come up with something.

[Command center. Servalan and Avon are present.]

SERVALANAll details of Blake's treatment have been programmed into the computers. There are ample supplies of all the drugs and medicines he will require. In approximately three months he should be well enough to move. The space vessel I used to come here will be at your disposal. It's rather old-fashioned, slow, but it will take you where you want to go.

AVONAre you sure you've covered everything?

SERVALANI don't think there's anything I've missed. There's a light beam voice link directed at the Liberator. You'll contact the ship. Tarrant, Cally and Dayna will teleport to this location. Vila will stay on board to operate the teleport to bring me up. You have my word that he will be teleported down to you immediately I have control. It's a very reasonable contract, Avon. You have your lives, Blake, and transportation out of here.

AVONAnd you have the best ship in space.

SERVALANThe pattern for a fleet.

AVONYou really think you can duplicate the Liberator?

SERVALANI've assembled a team of scientists who are sure they can. In fact, they've staked their lives on it. And with a fleet like that, I can unite and rule as nobody has ever ruled before.

AVONWhat if the crew won't obey me?

SERVALANOh, I don't think that's likely. I have Blake. I have you. [Draws a gun.] Call the ship. [Avon moves for the comm link.] I was right. I knew you'd never let Blake die.

AVONDeath is something that he and I faced together on a number of occasions. I always thought that his death and mine might be linked in some way. [Into comm link] Liberator, this is Avon. Do you read?

VILA[V.O.] Avon? Where are you?

AVONNo questions. Just do as I tell you and do it immediately. Take the Liberator out of here, maximum speed. Go and keep going!


AVONIt's important, Vila. Do it now!

SERVALANYou fool! [She hits him on the back of the head with the gun and he cries out.]

VILA[V.O.] Avon.


VILA[V.O.] Avon! Avon! [Servalan breaks the comm link and brings her gun to bear on Avon, who is lying on his back on the floor, but conscious. Kostos enters with Tarrant, Cally, and guards.]


SERVALANI think negotiations have just been reopened.

[Teleport room. Vila and Dayna are present.]

VILAWe have a firm locator fix on your signal. Waiting your orders. [Structure command center. Avon and Cally are under guard. Servalan is holding a gun to Tarrant's head.]

TARRANT[into comm link] Have Dayna prepare for teleport.

VILAShe's moving in now.

AVONTarrant, no!

TARRANTIt's too late. Use that good, icy logic of yours. We've lost this game. [Deactivates video display showing Liberator] Shut him up. [Into comm link] Ready, Vila?

VILAStanding by.

TARRANT[V.O.] Put her down. [Dayna teleports down.]

SERVALANAll right. Get their bracelets. Move them over there. That, I think, concludes our business.

TARRANTYou said there's a ship that could get us off here.

SERVALANThere is. Perhaps I've exaggerated just a little. You see, she was rather badly damaged when we made our landing. But I think with some months' work she could be made spaceworthy. Just about.

AVONWhat about Blake?

SERVALANAh, yes. Blake. I owe him so much. After all, it was he who brought you to me.

AVONWe made a deal. You promised me Blake.

SERVALANBlake is dead. He died from his wounds on the planet Jevron more than a year ago. I saw his body. I saw it cremated. Blake is dead.

AVONI saw him. I spoke to him and he--

SERVALANYou saw nothing. Heard nothing. It was an illusion, a drug- induced and electronic dream. We spent months preparing it. We recreated Blake inside our computers, voice, images, memories, a million fragmented facts. When I was ready, I started sending you the messages, seeding the idea in your mind. I was conditioning you. And you were my greatest ally, Avon. You made it easy because you wanted to believe it. You wanted to believe that Blake was still alive. [Avon starts for her.]

TARRANTLet it go, Avon.

SERVALANOne final thing. As you know, this planet was designed to help our scientists watch and study how life first developed on Earth. The experiment was more than successful and has led to some highly unpleasant lifeforms. Do be careful.

CALLYWe have met some sort of primitive humanoids. I hate to think that they were our ancestors.

SERVALANOh, but they're not. The planet's evolution was massively accelerated. It developed through millions of years in a very short time. The creature you saw is not what Man developed from. It is what Man will become. I think I'm ready. [To Tarrant] Give the order. Please.

TARRANTTake them up, Vila.

SERVALAN[looking in Avon's direction] We won't meet again. Goodbye.

[Teleport room. Vila is present. Servalan, Kostos, and two guards teleport up.]

SERVALANI'm going to the flight deck. Get rid of him.


SERVALANPut him down on Terminal. [Servalan and a guard exit. Vila, under guard, enters the teleport bay, then turns back toward Orac, which is on a nearby table.]

VILAJust a minute. [Picks up Orac]

KOSTOSWhat are you doing?


KOSTOSWhat is it?

VILAIt's just a pile of junk, really, but it means a lot to me. I built it. It's a sculpture. You're not going to make me leave it, are you?

KOSTOSAll right.

VILAIncidentally, you should always be careful about getting a second- hand spacecraft. They can be very unreliable. [Vila teleports down with Orac.]

[Control room. Avon is standing apart from the others, his back to them. Tarrant activates a control.]

DAYNAYou'd better watch this, Avon.

AVON[approaches] She won. We-- I let her take the Liberator.

TARRANTNo. No, she didn't win. We all came out losers. [They turn toward the screen.]

[Flight deck. Servalan enters. She, Kostos and the guards assume positions.]

SERVALANManual operation. Set course for the planet Earth.

KOSTOSComputed and laid in.

SERVALANMain drive. Maximum power.

[Control room. They all watch the screen.]

CALLYShe's beginning to go.

VILAShe's starting to break up.

[Flight deck. Explosions occur. Servalan runs for the teleport room, activates the teleport and enters the bay. The flight deck begins to break up. Kostos screams.]

[Control room. The Liberator breaks up, then explodes as the crew watches on the screen. Tarrant turns away first.]

TARRANTLet's see if we can't find a way off this planet. There's a lot to do.

[Tarrant, Cally, Dayna, and Vila exit one by one. Avon turns to go, and smiles as he too exits.]

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