Script for Trial

by Chris Boucher

(c) 1978 by the British Broadcasting Corporation. Series created by Terry Nation. This is a dialogue transcript for research purposes and is not for sale under any circumstances. Format (c) 1993 by Micky DuPree, Susan Beth Schnitger and Linda Knights.

Dramatis Personae

Roj Blake
Kerr Avon
Jenna Stannis
Vila Restal
Guard Commander

Male voice
Computer voice

[Servalan's headquarters/Federation space station. A curving corridor outside the hearing room.]
LYEWaste of time.
PARShut up, Lye.
LYECeremonial duty ...
PARIf you don't shut up, we won't be guarding a court martial, we'll be having one.
LYEI joined up to see some action.
PARMore fool you.
LYEYou've been on campaigns, Par.
PARI have.
LYEDone a lot of killing.
PAREnough. More. [Bercol and Rontane make their way around the corridor.]
BERCOLIt should embarrass her at the very least.
PARWatch it! [Par and Lye snap to attention.]
RONTANEOh, I hope so, but, uh, she doesn't embarrass easily, especially not in her own headquarters.
BERCOLOh, I meant politically, of course.
RONTANEOf course. Any attempt to embarrass her personally is an exercise in total futility.
BERCOLOh, quite. She has all the sensitive delicacy of a plasma bolt. [They laugh.]
RONTANE[When access is not forthcoming] Well?
PARSir, security area, sir. Access is voiceprint linked, sir.
RONTANEI am Secretary Rontane, personal representative of the President. [The door opens. Rontane passes through. Bercol starts to follow, but Par and Lye block his way with their weapons.]
BERCOLBercol! Senator Bercol. Head of the Information Bureau. Ex-officio member of the High Council. [The door opens and he passes through.]
LYE[laughs] Thought he was going to run for it.
PARPity he didn't. You could have shot him.
LYEA top politico?
PARDon't worry about them. Space Command runs the Federation.
LYEReckon so?
PARKnow so. And we look after ourselves.
LYETell that to the prisoner.
PARBroke the rules, didn't he?
LYEWhose rules?
PAROnly ones that matter: ours. [Samor comes into sight around the corridor.] Blazin' 'ell, look at this! [They come to attention.]
SAMORSamor, Fleet Warden General, appointed pro tem military arbiter. [The door opens. He passes through.]
LYEOld Star Killer.
PARI never thought I'd see him in the flesh. Hasn't left his flagship in years.
LYEArbiter in a cruddy court martial ...
PARBe by the book. I told you, we look after ourselves.

[Servalan's office]

SERVALANYes, Samor is a difficult man. Most of the time I'm more than happy to see him stay with his beloved Galactic Eighth Fleet.
THANIAOn his highly polished flagship.

SERVALANHe's well respected throughout the service. "Old Star Killer" has earned that respect through a lifetime's devotion to his duty and to his men.
THANIAA rule book officer of the old school.

SERVALANExactly. With him as arbiter a guilty verdict will not be questioned and the matter will be settled.
THANIAWell, assuming that is the verdict. [Communicator signal tone]

SERVALAN[into communicator] Yes?
VOICEThe tribunal is assembling, Supreme Commander. The arbiter is present.

SERVALANVery well. [To Thania] The evidence is straightforward. I can see no reason why we shouldn't get the verdict we want, in the way that we want it.
THANIANo, neither can I, Supreme Commander.

SERVALANAnd I expect no trouble from the Defense.
THANIA[shakes head] None.

[Corridor outside hearing room. Two Federation guards and Travis are at the door.]

GUARDPrisoner and escort, reporting as ordered. [Door opens] Quick march! [They march inside.]

[Hearing room]

TRAVISI report for judgment, sir.
SAMORIdentify yourself.
TRAVISTravis, Space Commander. Alpha one five one zero five.
SAMORSo recognized. You may stand at ease. [Travis does so.] Do you accept the authority of the Arbiter, the balance of the judgment program, and the competence of the defending officer?
TRAVIS[Pause] I do.
SAMORSpecify the indictment.

COMPUTERSpace Commander Travis, you are charged under Section Three of the War Crimes Statute Code, Jenkin One, with the murder of one thousand four hundred and seventeen unarmed civilians on the planet Serkasta, Date Code Beta two zero zero one.
SAMORHow do you answer the charge?
TRAVISI am not guilty.
SAMORBe seated. Major Thania, does the defense have an opening declaration?
THANIAWe reserve our opening declaration, sir.
SAMORVery well. Enter prosecution data. [A clerk presses some buttons.]

COMPUTERProsecution data begins. Identities and death certifications of all victims are entered.

THANIADefense requests the names of the alleged victims and the cause of death in each case be specified.
SAMORAll of them?
THANIAIf it pleases the arbiter.
SAMORDo you realize how long that will take, Major?
THANIAA man's life is at stake, sir.
SAMORI KNOW what is at stake.
THANIAMy apologies, sir. I meant no disrespect.
SAMORSince you have at your disposal instant recall of all prosecution data I fail to see what purpose will be served by having the computer intone a catalog of one thousand corpses.
THANIAI may wish to challenge elements of that catalog before they are entered in the judgment program, sir. [Samor confers with his fellow arbiters. During the pause, Bercol and Rontane talk privately.]
BERCOLPlaying for time?
RONTANEAnd playing for Servalan. The computer will find Travis guilty, there's no doubt of that, but those three are responsible for the sentence.
RONTANESo, uh, after hearing all the blood-spattered details--
BERCOL--they'll vote for the maximum penalty.
SAMORMotion sustained. Victims names and causes of death will be specified.
BERCOL[Still privately to Rontane] Do you think that Travis knows what she's doing to him?
RONTANEA psychotic like Travis? Who can tell what he's thinking?

[Flight deck of the Liberator.]

BLAKEZen, give me stationary orbit, teleport range, somewhere in the temperate zone.
ZENConfirmed. Do you require detailed sensor readings?
BLAKENo. I asked for tolerable conditions. I assume that's what you've given me.
ZENConfirmed. There are gravitational anomalies which may affect movement.
BLAKEAnd uninhabited.
ZENThe navigation computers list it as such. [Avon is listening in the entryway.]
BLAKEThat's good enough.
AVONReally? It sounds a little casual to me.
BLAKEI'm going down on my own, Avon. It has nothing to do with you.
AVONNothing at all, but it occurs to me that if you should run into trouble, one of your followers -- one of your three remaining followers -- might have to risk his neck to rescue you.
BLAKEThen you must advise them against that, Avon.
AVONOh, I will.
BLAKEThey might even listen to you this time.
AVONWhy not? After all, I don't get them killed.
BLAKE[Rests a hand on Avon's shoulder] True.
ZENStationary orbit established. Status is firm. All systems are functioning normally.
BLAKEAll right, Zen, you know what to do.
ZENConfirmed. [Blake exits as Jenna enters from a different passage.]
JENNABlake? [Blake continues out without reacting.] It's getting worse for him, isn't it?
AVON[Seats himself before game board.] Guilt does that.
JENNAWhat would you know about guilt?
AVON[Smiles] Only what I've read. Your move, I think.

[The teleport room. Orac is there on a stand.]

BLAKEEverything set, Cally?
CALLYYes. You've forgotten your gun.
BLAKEWhat? I won't need it. There's no one down there.
CALLYWell, there may be some kind of life form.
BLAKENo, it doesn't matter. [Flight deck] CALLY [v.o]: I will get you a gun. BLAKE [v.o.]: All right, thank you. [Teleport room]
BLAKE[Inserts Orac's key.] Orac. [Flight deck. Cally enters, Vila meets her and hands over a gun.]

BLAKE [v.o.]: Orac, give it five seconds, then operate the teleport.

[Cally hurries out.]

[Teleport room. Blake is gone when Cally enters. She goes to check the controls.]

[Surface of the planet. Vegetation all around, many sounds like animal or bird calls. Blake appears. He removes a homing beacon and hand locator from his case and checks their operation. He takes off his bracelet and puts it in the case, then exits leaving the beacon near a bush. Something picks up the beacon using a hooked stick.]

[Flight deck. Cally enters]

AVONWhat was all that about?
CALLYI think Orac altered the teleport coordinates.
CALLYWell, there's no way of telling. He zeroed the controls.
JENNAOur orbit's shifting.
VILAShifting? What do you mean shifting? Are we in trouble again?
ZENNew orbit will be established in six minutes, as instructed.
JENNAInstructed? By whom?
AVONBlake. He's making sure that we can't find him. He could be running out on us.

[Surface of the planet. Blake walks along.]

[The hearing room.]

SAMORHearing will reconvene at oh-nine-hundred. Return the prisoner to detention.
GUARDPrisoner, about turn. Quick march. [Travis and his two guards exit. The arbiters and court personnel exit.]
RONTANEOne almost has to admire that woman.
BERCOLWhat, Thania?
RONTANEWe know that she's sending Travis to his death in order to keep his mouth shut, but she is doing it with such an impeccably honest and painstaking tribunal that her real motives can't even be hinted at.
BERCOLHas, um, a date been set for the Blake inquiry?
RONTANEDoes it matter? Without Travis' evidence the mishandling of the Blake affair becomes a matter of conjecture. The inquiry becomes a formality.
BERCOLA Presidential stay of execution so that Travis can give evidence? After this, he should be more than willing.
RONTANEAfter this he'll be a convicted mass murderer.
BERCOLIt could still damage Servalan. 'Slime sticks,' as the old saying has it.
RONTANEYes, but the President can't be seen to throw it.
BERCOLServalan picked Travis.
RONTANEThe President picked Servalan.
BERCOLSo she's outmaneuvered us once again.
RONTANELet's say she's outmaneuvering us, but it's not over yet. She could still make a mistake.
BERCOLWhich is presumably why we came. I was beginning to wonder.
RONTANEWe came, Bercol, because Servalan's ambitions threaten us all. And the President particularly dislikes being threatened. Shall we dine?
BERCOLI wish I'd known that this was going to drag on so. I'd have brought my own chef. As I recall, Space Command's cuisine is appalling.

[Servalan's office.]

SERVALAN[Watching the preceding on closed circuit] Pathetic! [Into communicator] Send her in. [Thania enters] Thania. How was the first day?
THANIAMore or less as expected.

THANIATravis is behaving oddly.

SERVALANThree years ago, he committed a capital crime. Justice has finally caught up with him. How would you expect him to behave?
THANIAI wouldn't expect him to sit staring straight ahead, not moving, not reacting.

SERVALANNot even listening.
THANIAThat's it. That's exactly how he was, Supreme Commander. Has someone else remarked on it?

SERVALANOh, the, uh, Guard Commander's report mentioned something.
THANIAIt's almost as though he were drugged.

SERVALANNo, of course not. Risk a mistrial?
THANIAThen what?

SERVALANYou're representing him. You better find out. I don't want any doubts about the conduct of this tribunal. Any doubts at all. [Thania rises and starts to exit.] And Thania, try not to let Travis guess your motives. He's probably mad, but he certainly isn't a fool.

[Flight deck]

CALLYIf he was going to desert us, surely he'd have chosen somewhere special.
VILARight! Paradise that is not.
AVONPerhaps Blake knows something that we don't.
VILAThere aren't even any people down there.
AVONSo it has at least one aspect of paradise.
CALLYWould you maroon yourself on that planet?
AVONWe don't know that he is marooned. He could have a ship waiting.
JENNAOh, come on, Avon. You don't really believe that.
VILAI wish Gan was here.
AVONOh, yes, of course. He would be able to work out exactly what was going on.
VILAMaybe he would.
CALLYWhy do you say that, Vila?
VILAHe was straightforward, wasn't always expecting to be cheated and double-crossed -- not like us. He trusted people -- he trusted Blake completely.
JENNAMuch good it did him.
AVONWelcome back to reality, Jenna.
VILAYou think he is double-crossing us, Jenna?
JENNAI don't know. But you're right about one thing, I'm not like Gan. I don't trust unless I'm trusted in return.
AVONWhat do you think we should do then?
JENNASuggest something.
AVONWell now. I find the idea of being wealthy rather appealing.
AVONI don't see much prospect of getting rich around here.
VILAWell, it certainly looks as though Blake's left us, doesn't it?
AVONThat is the only reasonable assumption that we can make.
VILASo we've got to look out for ourselves now.
VILABlake can't complain really.
JENNAHardly, since he's not here.
VILANo, I mean it's not as though we haven't done our share for freedom and all that.
AVON[Smiles] More than our share.
JENNAYou two make me sick. Are we going to get out of here or aren't we?
CALLYOrac, do you know what Blake is doing?
ORACOf course I do.
CALLYThen tell us.
ORACWithout the correct data recall code, that information is not available.
CALLYData recall code, Avon?
JENNAHe's even put a secret classification code on what he's doing.
CALLYYes, but why did he code it and how? Vila, if Gan was here, what would he have asked Orac?
VILASomething obvious: did Blake leave us any message? [The main viewscreen displays a recorded message from Blake.]
BLAKEThank you. I must confess I wasn't sure whether you'd trust me or even care enough to ask if there was a message. In your place I'd probably have just said I don't give a damn and cleared off. I think -- well, that's just it, I need time to think. We all do. That's what all this is about. I must apologize for the somewhat dramatic exit. I had to stop myself coming back. At least until we've made some decisions, you and I. I took one hell of a risk with your lives when I went ahead with the attack on Central Control. I thought it was justified, I thought we had a chance to win. And I was wrong. Completely, utterly, stupidly wrong.
AVONI noticed that.
BLAKEI almost killed you all. I did kill Gan. For nothing: an empty room, a trick, an illusion. Now I find myself wondering if that's what it's been all along: just a dream. I don't know anymore. I don't know whether we should go on, whether you would even supposing I could ask you to. So, that is what we've got to decide, you and I: where do we go from here?
AVONSo that is what we have got to decide, is it?
BLAKEI'm taking a homing beacon down with me. It will start to transmit in thirteen hours. The detectors should be able to locate it and guide the ship to the rendezvous. It's an automatic beacon. I shall leave it on the ground when I land and make my way back to it with a hand detector. It seems more fitting somehow. Besides, if either of us chooses not to keep the rendezvous, then we needn't think too badly of each other. Maybe the detectors failed. [Message ends.]
VILAHe really cares about us, doesn't he?
AVONYou swallowed that?
CALLYYou think he was faking it?
AVONEverything but the self-pity. That was real enough.
CALLYYou're wrong.
AVONJenna? [Jenna exits] Which only leaves one question to be answered. Is it that Blake has a genius for leadership, or merely that you have a genius for being led?

[On the planet. Blake drops his case to the ground and sits on a fallen log to rest. After a few seconds he is hit lightly by a small stone, then by a second a little later. A few seconds later he is sprayed with water. Annoyed, he rises and starts to look around, and is hit with a stream of water. He arms himself with a stick and looks around. His case is hooked away with a stick. Zil shows herself to Blake, holding his case dangling from the stick.]


[Travis' detention cell. The door opens.]

TRAVISWho is it?
PARDo you remember me, sir?
TRAVISPar. [Par enters.] What are you doing here, Trooper?
PARI'm off duty, sir.
TRAVISWell, I'm not. [Glances at the securicam] I gather you're tired of your freedom.
PARI'm a twenty-year man, sir. I wouldn't recognize freedom if I fell over it. There's a temporary fault on surveillance. Guard's a friend of mine.
TRAVISStand to attention when you talk to me.
PAR[Stands to attention] Sir.
TRAVISI'm putting you and your friend on report.
PAROnly trying to help, sir.
TRAVISHelp? And how do you think you can help me, Trooper?
PARBrought you something, sir. [Starts to extract something from a pocket]
TRAVIS[Grabs Par's hand and slowly lets him proceed. It is a small flask.] Open it. [Par opens it. Travis takes it and brings it near his nose.]
PARThat's good stuff, sir. You won't go blind drinking that.
TRAVISAll right, Par. What have I done to deserve this?
TRAVISFaithful trooper, beloved officer -- not quite how I see either of us.
PARYou always looked after your men, sir. Now you're gonna die. We thought a drink was the least we could do, sir.
TRAVISStand at ease. [Par does.] Have one with me.
PARThank you, sir. [Travis pours him a drink which Par downs in one gulp.] That is good stuff.
TRAVIS[Watches Par for about five seconds] You can go now, Par.
PAROh, sir?
PARThe report, sir?
TRAVISNo one would believe it. [Par exits.] Any more than I do. [Drinks from the flask.]

[Corridor. Thania is waiting for Par.]

THANIADid you give it to him?
PARYes, Major.
THANIAI appreciate it.
PARWith respect, Major, I didn't do it for you.
THANIAYou served a full tour with Space Commander Travis, didn't you?
PARFive years. He was hard.
THANIABut fair.
PARNo, not often, anyway. But you could always rely on him not to get you killed unnecessarily. He never wasted troopers.
THANIAOh, that's something, I suppose.
PARMajor, when you're up to your neck in slime and lasers, that's everything.
THANIAAll right, Par.
PARMajor. [Starts to walk away.]
THANIATrooper Par? Do you think he's guilty?
PARNo doubt about it, Major. He gave the order. We just did the shooting.

[On the planet. Blake is drinking from a pool of water. He hears noises from Zil and chases after her.]

[Travis' detention cell. Travis is lying on the cot, with the nearly empty sitting on the floor beside his dangling arm. The door opens to reveal Thania.]

TRAVISCome in, Thania. I've been expecting you.
THANIAI thought you were asleep.
TRAVISWhat is it you want to ask me?
THANIAIs there anything you need?
TRAVIS[tosses the flask at her] You lack subtlety, Major.
THANIAWhat are you suggesting, Travis?
TRAVISGet out.

[On the planet. Blake trips and falls, and lie there until he is poked by a stick. He tries to catch Zil but nobody is within reach. When he turns, Zil is standing in sight.]

BLAKEWHAT are you?
ZIL[Unintelligible bird-like noises]
BLAKEWell, if that's your only way of communicating I can't see us having much of a conversation.
ZIL[at first very stuttering, hesitant, her clarity improves as dialog continues] Why did you stop? Why did you stop?
BLAKEWell, why did you run?
ZILMovement is life. To stop is to lose yourself and be absorbed. Is it that you are ready to be absorbed? Is Oneness already a burden?
BLAKENo, I don't understand what you mean.
ZILYou are newly hatched. Zil saw you come to Oneness. But your movement was slow. Zil risked Oneness to waken you.
BLAKEWhat are you?
ZILMy Oneness is Zil. What is yours?
BLAKEWell, I'm called Blake.
ZILCome, Blake. Keep distant. Zil and Blake must be alone to live. [exits]
BLAKENo, wait. Zil! [The ground rumbles and shakes.]
ZIL[o.o.s.] The Host stirs.

[The flight deck. Avon is working on a device. Jenna enters and goes to the controls.]

AVONI have already programmed an automatic search pattern for the homing beacon.
JENNAYou don't mind if I check it?
AVON[smiles] I'd be disappointed if you didn't. [Vila enters]
JENNAWhat are you doing?
AVONIt's a detector shield. I've been working on it for some time.
VILAEveryone should have a hobby. What's it do?
AVONIt should keep us off everything but the Federation's close range visual scanners.
VILAYou mean their long-range detectors won't pick us up at all? But that's brilliant, Avon, absolutely brilliant. It'll never work.
AVONThere's only one way to find out. I'm sure Blake will find us something suitable to attack.
VILAI see. You've decided to be led like the rest of us.
AVONI shall continue to follow. It's not quite the same thing.
VILAI don't see the difference.
AVONI didn't really think that you would.
JENNADo you want to tell me why you've left most of the southern hemisphere off the search pattern?
AVONI don't believe that Blake can think and swim at the same time. It's nothing but ocean down there.

[On the planet]

BLAKEZil, where are you?
ZILYou have stopped again. Is Blake afraid to be alone? All must stay alone or wake the Host.
BLAKEYou took something from me, something that I need. Now, Zil, what have you done with it?
ZILBlake will be lost to you unless Zil can explain. But, but how? How to explain what Blake is?
BLAKEWell, tell me what Zil is.
ZILZil is my Oneness. Alone. Zil is my waking, as Blake is your waking.
BLAKEYou mean we live?
ZILEverything lives. The Host lives. To live is not enough for Blake and Zil. Blake and Zil woke. The waking must not be feared or you will lose it and Blake will be absorbed.
BLAKETo live is not enough?
ZILTo be alone must not be feared. The Host is slow to recognize one who is alone. Though there are many, all stay alone. [Clears off a patch of ground] Do you hunger? [Tears the ground open, scoops up some of the lining of the opening and eats it.] Do you hunger?
BLAKEWhat is it?
ZILLife. [Blake tastes some. The ground shakes again.]
ZILThe Host stirs again. Now Blake, understand the need for swiftness.

[Flight deck. Avon and Jenna are playing a board game.]

ZENInformation. Detectors indicate rapid changes now occurring on the planetary surface.
ZENIndications are that the land mass is sinking. Projections of the rate at which the process is accelerating suggest that it will be entirely submerged beneath the oceans in two hours.
JENNAThat's impossible.
AVONRecheck the data.
JENNAThe climatic and gravitational changes would be catastrophic.
VILAWell, perhaps they are.
CALLYThe planet would be tearing itself to pieces.
VILAAre we sure it isn't? Shouldn't we move away?
AVONHow long before the homing beacon activates?
JENNAOne hour, fifteen minutes.
ZENData is confirmed. Analysis continues.
AVON[inserts Orac's key] Orac, have you got anything on this?
ORACThe phenomenon is unknown to me. I shall require an analysis of the chemical composition of the oceans.
ZENFull range chemical analyses are being carried out.
JENNAWhat about Blake?
AVONLet's hope he's on high ground.

[On the planet]

ZIL[Indicating the beacon and the container] There. The Host has not absorbed them.
BLAKEWhat is the Host? [Zil waves at everything.] And yet you fear it?
ZILResist it. Oneness must resist the Host.
BLAKEBut you don't know that it exists. [Snaps on his bracelet] Perhaps you're imagining it. [Chuckles] How do you resist an illusion?
ZILEat lightly, move quickly, so the Host is not aware of your Oneness.
BLAKEYes ... I don't suppose you know how to speed up the timer on a hom-- [Sees that Zil is out of earshot] -- homing beacon? Yeah. [He straightens up and starts after her. Zil has collapsed.] Zil, what's wrong?
ZILZil is lost. [The ground opens near her. Blake scoops her up and walks off with her.] The Host will take...

[Flight deck]

VILASaliva? You mean that's an ocean of spit?
ORACNo, of course not. That was merely an analogy I was drawing.
AVONAll right, so it's digestive fluid. What does it mean?
ORACSurely that's obvious. This planet is alive.
AVONDefine alive. All planets are by some definition.
ORACI am not referring to a complex ecosystem. I refer to a single organism. A planetary life form. Fascinating, don't you think?
VILAI doubt if Blake does.
CALLYIf it is a single organism, how does it function?
ORACThat would require study. At present I can only conjecture.
AVONSo conjecture.
ORACTo maintain life on that scale the organism must have achieved stasis, a perfect balance within itself. Clearly something has upset that balance.
ORACNo. The stimulus would be insufficient.
JENNASo, what, then?
ORACMy conjecture would be parasites. A life form living on the organism whose population has reached too high a level.
JENNAWell, what's that organism doing, Orac?
ORACCleansing itself.
VILAKilling them?
ORACCorrect. And replacing the energy thus expended by eating them.
JENNAThere's still forty-five minutes before that homing beacon activates.
AVONBlake hasn't got that long.

[On the planet. Blake is carrying Zil. He sets her down.]

ZILBlake must leave Zil.
BLAKENo. What's happened to the light?
ZILThe waking time is over. The Host absorbs all.
BLAKENot yet, it doesn't.

[Teleport room]

JENNA[v.o] Avon, the flight program's laid in.
AVONClose to the atmosphere?
JENNA[v.o.] As close as we dare.
AVONAll right, stand by. [To Cally] If this works the teleport should operate on a series of brief automatic pulses, each pulse covering a section of the area we are flying across.
CALLYIf Blake is there, it will bring him up.
AVONStart to bring him up. It will be up to you to hit the main switch and complete the process. You'll have to concentrate. He'll appear and disappear in one short flash.
CALLYAnd if I miss it?
AVON[smiles] He's gone for good.

[On the planet. Blake is carrying Zil.]

ZILThis place is fitting.
BLAKE[Sets her down.] Zil, what --
ZILOneness will return when the Host is quiet again.
BLAKE[sees nearby pile of white spherical objects.] They're eggs. The children of your people.
ZILTheir skin is strong. They cannot be absorbed.
BLAKEThe teleport materialization. The field glows white. You thought I was hatching from an egg. You've been protecting a child.
ZILThis place is fitting. Here Blake and Zil will surrender Oneness.
BLAKEZil. Zil! [She falls into the gap that opens near her. It closes back up.] Not me. I am not ready to surrender ANYTHING!

[Teleport room]

AVONAll right, Jenna. Let's get on with it.
JENNA[v.o.] Flight program running.

[On the planet. Louder rumbles and ground shaking. Blake covers his ears in pain.]

[Teleport room]

ZENFlight program will be complete in two minutes.
VILA[enters] The flight's almost over. Is it working?
AVONQuiet, Vila. [A few seconds pause, then Blake starts to appear.] Now! [Blake starts to fade out. Cally works the controls and Blake appears completely.]
BLAKEThank you. Next time I want to think, I'll do it in my cabin.
AVONI should stick to action, Blake. That's what you're good at.
CALLY[into communicator] Jenna, we've got him back.
VILA[to Blake] Avon adapted the teleport with his usual skill -- probably ruined it. [exits]
BLAKEYou went to a lot of trouble. [Cally looks at him and then exits.]
AVONOne of these days they are going to leave you. They were almost ready to do so this time.
BLAKEYes, I thought they might be.
AVONYou handle them very skillfully.
AVONBut one more death will do it.
BLAKEThen you'd better be very careful. It would be ironic if it were yours. [Avon exits]

[Hearing room]

COMPUTERProsecution data is now entered as complete. Judgment program Jenkin One Oblique Three holding.
SAMORMajor Thania, is your defense data prepared and ready to be entered?
THANIAIf it please the arbiter, we would like at this time to offer our opening declaration.
SAMORVery well.
THANIAThank you, sir. [Approaches the arbiters.] Gentlemen, it is with a very real sense of waste, perhaps even of tragedy--
TRAVIS[bolts to his feet] NO!
SAMORHas the prisoner some objection? [The next lines by Travis and Thania are delivered simultaneously, overlapping and obscuring each other.]
THANIAI request a consultation [unintelligible] ...with the Arbiter's permission I must insist--
TRAVISFleet Warden Samor, I have no wish to consult with my defense--
SAMOR[cutting them both off] That's enough! I will not have this tribunal reduced to the level of a common trooper's brawl. [To Travis] You have already made formal acceptance of the competence of the defending officer?
TRAVISYes, sir!
SAMORDefense may consult.
THANIAThank you, sir. [She and Travis move aside.] What the hell do you think you're doing, Travis?
TRAVISYou handled that badly, Thania. The Supreme Commander will not be pleased.
BERCOL[privately to Rontane] Signs of life?
RONTANE[privately to Bercol] Death throes, nothing more.
THANIAAll right, what is it you want?
TRAVISThe opening declaration.
THANIAYou want to know what I am going to say? I'm going to say that you were a brilliant and dedicated soldier who had a lapse of judgment, a momentary aberration--
TRAVISOnly a momentary aberration?
THANIAI'm further going to say that you deeply regret what happened. In other words, I am going to lay the basis of your defense.
TRAVISI will make the opening declaration.
THANIALook, don't be a fool. Do you really think you're going to impress them sympathetically?
TRAVISI think the Supreme Commander wants me to go to my death quietly. That is as close to quietly as I am going to get.
THANIALook, I'm trying to save your life, Travis--
TRAVISYou've be better occupied trying to save your own, Thania. Majors can die quite anonymously. And your involvement in this fiasco makes your life expectancy only slightly longer than my own.

[Flight deck]

BLAKEWe were getting a reputation for being invulnerable.
CALLYWe were even beginning to believe it ourselves.
AVONSome of us, anyway.
BLAKEAll right, yes, I admit it. Gan's death woke me, made me realize that I'd come to accept our own legend. But far more important than that, every Federation trooper, every kill-happy bounty hunter now knows that we are fallible.
VILAYou're saying that it's time to stop. That is what you're saying, I hope.
JENNANo, he's saying it's too late to stop, aren't you? We've come too far.
BLAKENo, what I'm saying is there will be a better time.
AVONWhen we have restored our legend.
AVONAll right, what death defying feat must we undertake in order to do that?
BLAKEWill this detector shield work?
BLAKEA high speed attack. A single strike run. We'll be on them before they know and away before they can respond.
BLAKEServalan's headquarters.

[Hearing room]

SAMORYou may begin.
TRAVIS[Paces about madly throughout this speech] A field officer, like myself, is frequently required to make fast, unconsidered decisions. You were all field officers, you know that's true. Time to think is a luxury battle seldom affords you. You react instinctively. Your actions, your decisions, all instinct, nothing more. But, an officer's instincts are the product of his training. The more thorough the training, the more predictable the instinct, the better the officer. And I am a good officer. I have been in the service all my adult life. I'm totally dedicated to my duty and highly trained in how to perform it. On Serkasta I, I reacted as I was trained to react. I was an instrument of the service. So if I'm guilty of murder, of mass murder, then so are all of you!
SAMORThe prisoner will be seated. [Travis returns to his chair.] Is the defense data prepared?
THANIAIt is, sir.
SAMOREnter it.

COMPUTERJudgment program Jenkin One Oblique Three running. Defense data commences.

[Flight deck]

JENNAStandard by Eight.
BLAKEFlight time to target?
ZENSix hours and four minutes at present speed.
BLAKEIncrease speed to Standard by Ten.
JENNAStandard by Ten.
BLAKE[approaches Avon] Can we rely on it?
AVONI thought we were?
VILADetector contact, extreme range Grid Five.
CALLYSix ships. Standard Federation patrol pattern.
VILABearing One Nine Four.
BLAKEHave they picked us up yet?
CALLYMaintaining patrol pattern.
VILAHolding One Nine Four.
BLAKEPut them on the screen, Zen. [View of six ships crossing the screen.]
VILAThey missed us! Avon's gadget works!
BLAKEI never doubted it for a moment. [To Avon] Is something wrong?
AVONIt just occurred to me, that as the description of a highly sophisticated technological achievement, "Avon's gadget works," seems to lack a certain style.

[Hearing room]

SAMORThe prisoner will stand. [Travis rises.] Run judgment.

COMPUTERJudgment program one oblique three. Conclusion: Space Commander Travis, you are guilty as charged.
SAMORThe tribunal will retire to consider sentence.

[Servalan's office]

SERVALANNo surprise from the defense.
THANIAHow did you know?

SERVALANHow did you NOT know?
THANIAI thought he'd given up.

SERVALANI warned you not to underestimate Travis.
THANIAI don't think he's persuaded them.

SERVALANI was watching Samor. What Travis said bothered him!
THANIAYou were watching?

SERVALAN[laughs] Secret session or not, did you seriously imagine I wouldn't have a spy camera in there? Travis knew, right from the beginning. It really is a pity he's got to die. He's so much better than anything I've got left.

[Flight deck]

BLAKETime to target?
ZENFourteen minutes. Attack run will commence in nine minutes and thirty seconds.
BLAKEHow long before they see us?
AVONNine minutes and twenty-five seconds.

[Hearing room]

SAMORSpace Commander, we have considered your sentence at some length. Your contention that what happened on Serkasta was a direct result of your training concerned us greatly. We accept that you are trained to kill. As are we all. What we cannot accept is that this training leads inevitably to the murder of innocents. Your behavior was not that of a Federation officer, but rather that of a savage, unthinking, animal.

[Flight deck]

CALLYTarget now registering on all detectors.
AVONThree minutes to commencement of attack run.

[Hearing room]

SAMORWe cannot find it in our hearts to absolve you in any way of the responsibility for these murders. The sentence of this tribunal is, therefore, that you should be stripped of all rank and privileges, that you be dishonorably dismissed the service, and that you then be executed for the common criminal you have shown yourself to be. Have you anything to say?

[Flight deck]

AVONFive seconds to attack run threshold.
CALLYWe are now in their visual range. Attack run commenced.
BLAKEStand by the main blasters.
VILAMain blasters ready.

[Hearing room]

SAMORDo I take it you have nothing to say?
TRAVISThe Federation is run by hypocrites and supported by fools. I'm glad to be rid of you all.
VOICE[v.o.] All personnel to battle stations. All personnel to battle stations. Unidentified ship on attack run in quadrant six.

[Flight deck]

BLAKEFire the main blasters!

[View from space. The Liberator fires, a section of the space station explodes.]

[Hearing room. Travis attacks and overcomes his guards and takes one of their guns.]

VOICE[v.o.] Automatic airlock will trigger in three seconds. [Travis leaps through the airlock door as it starts to close. He shoots another guard then passes through the main door and finds himself confronting Par who is pointing a gun at him.]
TRAVISDon't make me kill you, Par.
PARWhat happened in there?
TRAVISOuter wall cracked, automatic airlock sealed the chamber. They'll all be dead by now. Drop the gun.
PARI can't do that, sir.
TRAVISDon't be a fool. I've got nothing to lose anymore.
PARI can't let you go, sir.
TRAVIS[Knocks Par out] Some of us weren't hypocrites, were we, Par?

[Flight deck]

BLAKEGet us out of here, Jenna. Speed Standard by Twelve.
JENNASpeed Standard by Twelve. Battle computers, put force wall on standby.

[Servalan's office]

VOICE[from communicator] Single attack run on Quadrant Six. Damage is extensive but confined to that section as far as we can tell.

SERVALANDamage control teams?
VOICEMoving in now.

SERVALANWhat about casualties?
TRAVIS[from doorway] High and rising all the time.
VOICENo estimates yet, Supreme Commander.

SERVALANVery well. Keep me informed. [Switches off communicator. To Travis] Well! Savage, THINKING animals have a way of surviving, don't they?
TRAVISWho was it?

SERVALANWe think it was Blake.
TRAVISHuh. I must remember to say thank you before I kill him.

SERVALANWhat are you planning to do?
TRAVISI'm planning to leave. You're going to give me a pursuit ship -- oh, and the trigger circuit for this. [Raises artificial hand]

SERVALANHeh. You think so? [He moves in.] And you'll hunt Blake.
TRAVISWhile you hunt both of us. Now give the orders. Carefully.

SERVALAN[into communicator] Is Pursuit Four ready for immediate launch?
VOICEYes, ma'am. And your crew is standing by.

SERVALANHave the crew stand down. I want them replaced by three mutoids.

SERVALANYes, mutoids. And have them blanked. I want their minds imprinted to receive orders only from the person who first uses the trigger word "outlaw" to them.
VOICEYes, ma'am.

SERVALAN[Switches off communicator] Well, you'll need a crew you can rely on.
TRAVISStill one step ahead? You're not going to use me anymore. Move!

[Flight deck]

CALLYThe last patrol is off the detectors. We have lost them all.
BLAKE"Resist the Host or your Oneness will be absorbed."
AVONI would quite like to have met this Zil of yours. It's not often that one comes across a philosophical flea.
VILAThat's the stuff that legends are made of.
AVONThen again, perhaps they are not that uncommon. [Blake and Avon laugh.]
Script Index

Back to B7 Top