Script for WARLORD

by Simon Masters

(c) 1981 by the British Broadcasting Corporation. Series created by Terry Nation. This is a partial dialogue transcript for research purposes and is not for sale under any circumstances. Format (c) 1994 by Malcolm Mladenovic, Susan Beth Schnitger, Didi Johnson and Micky DuPree.

Dramatis Personae

Kerr Avon
Vila Restal
Del Tarrant
Dayna Mellanby

Voice, public address

[Scene of smoke and dust rising above a landscape, changes to a large numeral 3. The view widens to reveal this is being shown on a viewscreen in the Crew room of Scorpio base. Avon moves in front of the screen.]

AVONFinally, Zondor, latest victim of the Federation's pacification and control program. [Quick shots of planetary leaders watching him as he speaks.] The drug is still Pylene Fifty. The concentration has been stepped up, however. [Screen now shows a Federation guard watching from a catwalk as extremely zombi-like people ride escalators up and down and pass along walkways. An extremely slow, soothing voice repeats continually "You are cared for. You are loved." The people appear to be totally out of it, focusing on nothing, heads lolling about, never speaking or looking at each other. There are large red and black alphanumeric codes on their foreheads. An inset picture shows the guard miming shooting at them with his empty hand. A second guard joins him, they talk for a few seconds, then the second guard shoots two people, apparently chosen at random. The first guard then shoots a couple, then both guards continue shooting at people while the others continue to walk, apparently not caring. A closeup of one of the dead bodies is followed by shots of two people dragging another dead person away, apparently under the direction of a Federation guard. That guard seems to notice the camera, pointing, approaching, then clubbing at it with his gun as the picture goes black. Avon moves back in front of the screen.]

AVONThat videocast was taken on Zondor six weeks ago. What is happening there now will soon happen on Serrus, Hirrial, Cyntha -- all the border systems. Unless you resist.

MIDAResist? With what? We have no armies, Avon, no great battle fleets.

LODAh, Zukan does.

CHALSABut Zukan isn't here.

BOORVAAnd why not? Because he has his armies and his fleets, and is probably attacking Tarl or Serrus even now while we all listen to a renegade, who has more reason than us to fear the Federation.

[Scorpio base Comm room. The scene from the Crewroom is being watched on a small screen by Dayna, Vila and Soolin.]

AVON[on screen] I may be a renegade, Boorva, but you betray your people if you do not fear the Federation.

DAYNAIt's going badly.

VILAHardly surprising. Avon's idea of diplomacy is like breaking someone's leg then saying, "Lean on me."

[Crew room]

MIDA[approaches Avon] Resistance means armies, Avon, whatever you say, and we haven't got them.

AVONWell, neither has the Federation. At least not sufficient to indulge in widespread conventional conquest. Why else have they embarked upon drug control? Defeat the drug, and you buy yourselves time.

[Comm room]

ORACI mention it in passing since none of you seem to have noticed, but there are two craft registering on the detectors [Dayna works some controls. A screen shows two ships in space.]

SOOLIN[v.o.] How near?

ORACOrbit range in seventeen minutes.

SOOLINVisual scanners?

DAYNALocking on to automatic.

[Crew room]

AVONOriginally the stuff was administered by medical laser, but now they have developed variants. It can be fed into your reservoirs or even into the air that you breathe.

MIDAYou're saying, then, that we have no protection.

AVONOn the contrary, I'm offering you the best there is, total immunity. I have the antitoxin. What I do not have is the necessary equipment to mass produce it. Or the raw material from which to obtain the toxin extract.


AVONZukan has the raw material, and you, gentlemen, you have the necessary equipment.

BOORVAAny such alliance would be futile as long as Zukan remained outside it.

LODAnd he has the armies.

CHALSAAnd the war fleet.

BOORVAHe's a pirate. Zukan's a pirate, and [points at Avon] he's an outlaw.

[Comm room. Tarrant enters.]

TARRANTWho are they, Orac?

ORACWhy not ask them?

TARRANT[into comm] This is Xenon base, identify yourselves. [static] I repeat, identify yourselves. [more static] You have ten seconds or I'll open fire.

VILAWith what?

FREIGHTER[on comm] Xenon base, this is Betafarl commercial freighter Lodestar.

TARRANTWho's with you? I repeat, who's that with you, Lodestar?

[Zukan's space ship]

ZUKANThis is Zukan, President of Betafarl, come to attend the conference of the non-aligned planets.

[Corridor in Scorpio base. Zukan strides along.]

[Crew room.]

ANNOUNCERGentlemen, the president of Betafarl, Zukan. [Zukan enters the room, performs a crossed forearm salute to the others.]

AVON[approaches him] You are welcome, Zukan.

ZUKANI apologize for my late arrival.

AVONBoorva, perhaps now you may care to revise your position?

BOORVABecause Zukan has finally arrived? That doesn't necessarily change anything.

AVONWhy can't you accept that Zukan is here in good faith.

CHALSAThere is no history of trust between us, Avon.

BOORVATrue, we know Zukan to harbour territorial ambitions against us all. Does he renounce them? And even if he says he does, why should we believe him?

ZUKANMay I reply?

BOORVABy all means.

ZUKANInsofar as we on Betafarl have always sought to protect ourselves and our borders, there are some here who would not be unjustified in regarding us as aggressors, but if it is aggression to protect oneself by ensuring that the others remain weak, then we have been aggressors.


ZUKANBut no more, because now we face a true aggressor. The Federation does not seek merely to defend itself but to subjugate all peoples to its will, and Betafarl is no more able to stand alone against the Federation than any of you. So if we cannot be friends, for the sake of all our peoples let us be allies as from this day.

BOORVAWell, he spares us the hypocrisy of pretending that his motives are anything other than self-interest.

MIDAAre our motives any different? I welcome your words, Zukan.

CHALSABut words are no more than ... words.

BOORVAZukan must forgive our mistrust, but he himself has fuelled it for far too long for words alone to be sufficient here today.

ZUKANAvon, show us your freight bay. [Avon pushes one of the buttons on a panel beside the view screen. It shows two techs moving equipment about in the bay.]

ZUKANNow those are my technicians. The equipment is everything necessary to produce an antitoxin. [Another shot of the techs at work while the next line is delivered.] This is Betafarl's first contribution to our new alliance. So doubt my words if you will, but not the evidence of your own eyes.

[Freight bay. Tarrant and Soolin and one of the techs are standing together while other techs continue working. Throughout this scene techs shift equipment around and work on it.]

TARRANT[to the tech] Power inlets are on the far side. [The tech moves away from them. Soolin and Tarrant stroll across the bay, looking around at the equipment.]

SOOLINI hope they're not just going to dump it all and go. [Tarrant grins.] Unless you want to be the one who decides which bit fits where.

TARRANTOh, I thought we could leave that to Vila. You should see the laboratories they've got on Betafarl. Zukan gave Avon and me a tour when we were there trying to persuade him to attend today. [Pause while he looks off across the bay.] Zeeona.

SOOLINSomeone you met while you were there? [Shot of Zeeona]

TARRANTZukan's daughter. [Tarrant and Soolin move over to her.] If all this is the result of your intercession, we're grateful.

ZEEONAMy father required no intercession from me. Your own case was so strong that in the end he knew he couldn't afford not to respond.

SOOLINSome response.

ZEEONAIn war or friendship, my father is never less than whole-hearted.

TARRANTZeeona, Soolin. [He makes introductory type gestures, Zeeona nods to Soolin.] Maybe you'd like to take Zeeona to the crew room.

SOOLINEr, thank you, but I think it might be better if I stayed here to help.

SOOLINZukan's daughter carrying boxes?

ZEEONAI'm a biogenetic engineer, I work with this kind of equipment all the time. I thought I could help to put it together.

TARRANTWe're unlikely to be ready for that today, so why not let Soolin show you to your father's quarters?

ZEEONAHe, uh, he doesn't know I'm here. I came aboard the freighter out of curiosity I suppose. I, I hope to go back the same way, without him knowing I've been here.

TARRANTWould it matter if he did?

ZEEONAI think he might be displeased.

SOOLINAnd no doubt he is as whole-hearted in his displeasure as in everything else.

TARRANTYou can't stay here, there are video scanners that can be switched through to the conference chamber.

SOOLINBetter come with me. [She turns to go, and Zeeona follows.] We don't want to upset our principal ally and benefactor, now do we? [Zeeona gives a small laugh. They pass by Finn, a technician, who turns to look after Zeeona.]

[Crew room]

AVONWell now, gentlemen, before we drink our toast, [hands a goblet to Lod] are there any grievances that could in the future threaten our accord?

CHALSAYes, shall we receive compensation for the crafts we have lost to Zukan's warfleet?

ZUKANAny such craft were legitimate targets, being in the Betafarl sector.

BOORVAIn that case Betafarl sector extends for as far as your warfleets care to roam.

ZUKANNot so.

AVONSectors are a thing of the past. I thought you'd agreed.

ZUKANBut Chalsa seems to want to make the agreement retroactive. Just how far back do you want to go?

MIDAWe have lost craft, too, Chalsa. Shall Zukan recompense us all? How could he? May we not wipe out the past and start afresh.

AVONI agree with Mida. When you talk of compensation, Chalsa, remember: Zukan has already pledged more to this alliance than anyone else.

CHALSAAll right, all right, I agree. I accept. [Avon looks about at the others. Boorva nods. Avon gives a sickeningly sweet smile.]

AVONThen are we all friends here, with one common enemy?

BOORVATarl affirms. Let's hope we're never given cause to regret it.

MIDALovis affirms.

LOD[rises] Hirriel affirms.

CHALSAKhom affirms.

ZUKANBetafarl affirms. [All clink their goblets together. A sparkly, sort of lightening-like effect is laid over the touching goblets.]

[Another room in Scorpio base. Zeeona and Soolin have been watching this scene on a viewscreen.]

ZEEONAI don't think my father ever believed a day like this could be possible. I'm glad I'm here to witness it.

SOOLINWhy would he be so displeased if he found out you were here?

ZEEONAYou know what fathers are like with their daughters.

SOOLINAs it happens, I don't. Mine was murdered when I was eight.

ZEEONAI'm sorry.

SOOLINSo were the men who did it, eventually. So tell me, why doesn't he want you here?

ZEEONA[Touches a control beside another, larger screen, which shifts from a shot of a yellow flower to a lakeside scene.] You may find it strange in view of my father's reputation as a fighter, but for some time now he's been trying to achieve a kind of respectability, through me.

SOOLINYes, it may be politically expedient to be allied with us, but we're hardly respectable. [Musing to herself] It could explain it, I suppose.

[Freight bay. Avon and Zukan enter and cross to where Tarrant is standing beside a piece of equipment.]

AVONIs everything all right?

TARRANTSeems to be.

AVONA neutron bombarder.

ZUKANAs long as the organic source has a molecular structure that's reasonably close to that of the antitoxin, that'll do the rest.

TARRANTAny danger of radiation?

ZUKAN[shakes head] As long as the installation is right.

AVONWell, the only problem now is: where do we find enough raw material to keep this lot running? [He is moving about, looking at various circuit boards and so forth.]

ZUKANThat's not such a problem, Avon. As I told you we have a plant on Betafarl; it grows wild. In the outlying areas it's prolific. The sap has a molecular structure that's close to that you need. We started harvesting it just before I came here.

AVONHow long before it can be shipped?

ZUKANThat is up to you, my friend. We've brought the equipment, we're harvesting the crop. The freighting of it, we leave to you. Though don't take too long, indications are it degenerates fast, even under freezing.

AVON[to Tarrant] Any reason why you can't take Scorpio and leave tomorrow?

TARRANTNo, except...

ZUKAN[interrupting] With Avon's permission I should myself like to stay to supervise the installation.

AVONTomorrow, [snaps his fingers and points at Tarrant] you go.

[Freight bay. Shot of tech working on Neutron bombarder.]

[Comm room]

TARRANTYour father means to stay until the installation is complete. I thought you should know.

ZEEONAThank you, but I did already. I was watching the monitor.

TARRANTYou must also have heard that I'm going to Betafarl tomorrow. Perhaps it would be sensible for me to take you back.

ZEEONAPerhaps it would, yes. Thank you.

TARRANTRight. Good. Well, we'll sort out how to get you aboard in the morning. [starts to leave.]

ZEEONAWould you like to know why I really came? [Tarrant turns back.] Oh it's true, I, I thought I could help with installing the equipment, and it's true that I was curious about all of you, the kind of people you are, the way you live. But most of all... But most of all, I ... [Turns her back to Tarrant.] So you see I shall be very happy to be going back to Betafarl with you. [Tarrant moves up close to her. She turns and looks up at him.]

[Shot of planet in space]

[Freight bay. The lights are turned off. A man approaches the bombarder using a handheld light. He puts a canister into a drawer in the bombarder, then shines the light onto a nearby ventilator. The light then washes across its bearer's face: Zukan. He watches and listens as someone else creeps across the bay, then shines the light onto the newcomer, revealing Finn. Finn approaches Zukan who hands him a carton of six cylinders, one of which he shows separately to Finn.]

ZUKANOne per exit.

FINNMmm. Got some news for you. There was somebody on Lodestar you didn't reckon on. [pause] Your daughter.

[Corridor in Scorpio base. Zukan is striding along angrily, followed by Avon.]

ZUKANShe is here!

AVONNot to my knowledge.

ZUKANShe is here somewhere, and one of your people must know where!

[Crew room. Vila, Dayna and Soolin are grouped around the table, playing a game involving stacks of colored beads. Zukan and Avon enter, Zukan continuing to speak without a break.]

ZUKANWhere is my daughter?

DAYNAI don't know.

VILANor me.

ZUKANWhere is the other one?

DAYNAWhat other one?

ZUKANThat came with you to Betafarl.


ZUKANSearch the base.

SOOLINIf she is here, presumably she wants to be. She's not a child. [Vila nods.]

ZUKANShe is my daughter.

AVONWhere is she, Soolin?

[Another room in Scorpio base. Zeeona and Tarrant are lying beside each other. Tarrant kisses her cheek while she speaks.]

ZEEONAAnd then, after you'd gone, when you left Betafarl, I, I felt as though I'd lost something. I never felt that way about anyone before.


ZEEONAI'm sorry if all this is unwelcome to you.

TARRANTNo. [Viewscreen shows Avon's face.]

AVON[on viewscreen] Zeeona, your father wants to see you. [pause] NOW, Tarrant.

[Crew room]

ZUKANYour man, Tarrant. Now, he is the reason why she should not be here. I mean this as no disrespect to you, Avon, or your group, but she is the daughter of Zukan.

AVONLet us give our guests some privacy. [Dayna and Vila start to leave.]

VILAJust when it was getting interesting, er, the game I mean. [They exit. Soolin rises and follows them a few second later. Zeeona, followed by Tarrant, has just reached the doorway.]

SOOLIN[to Zeeona] I'm sorry, I don't know how he found out. [exits]

AVON[to Zeeona, as he passes her] Excuse me.

TARRANTNow, let-- [broken off as Avon grabs his shoulders and shoves him back away up the corridor.]

ZUKANHow dare you?

ZEEONAI'm sorry I went against your word, but I'm glad I came.

ZUKANYou cannot be both.


ZUKANThen I wish for both our sakes it were not so. You shall not stay.

ZEEONAI didn't intend to. I go home tomorrow aboard their freighter. Tarrant will take me.

[Corridor in Scorpio base. Zukan and Avon are walking along.]

ZUKANMy daughter will be a passenger on your freighter tomorrow. I would like you to change its captain.

AVONWhom would you prefer?


AVON[short laugh] I shall be ... honored. Good night.

ZUKANGood night. [they part]

[Shot of Zeeona's weeping face laid over a star field.]

[Crew deck of Scorpio.]

AVONWhat I care about is not antagonizing the most powerful ally we have.

SOOLINAt her expense.

AVONShe is not a child. You said so yourself.

SOOLINShe deserves better than having just you for company. Besides I'm surprised you're prepared to risk leaving me alone with her father. I dislike him so much there's no knowing what I might do.

AVONAll right, come along and hold her hand if you must, but in the meantime you can make yourself useful, there's a fault on the inner door alignment. [Soolin heads toward the door.]

[Comm room]

DAYNA[into comm] All launch checks complete.

AVON[v.o.] Green on all systems.

VILA[into comm] Betafarl has just confirmed full clearance on your flight plan.

AVON[v.o.] About time. [Zukan exits. Zeeona, following him, pauses in the doorway.]


DAYNAHave a good trip.

VILA[into comm] Your passenger's on her way.

AVON[v.o.] Good. [Dayna and Vila go to the door, look out into the corridor.]

DAYNAWhere is Tarrant?

VILADrowning his sorrow?

[Shots of Scorpio on the turntable, rising on the lift.]

[Scorpio main deck]

AVONMain drives, running up.

[Freight bay. The techs are clearing out, Tarrant watches.]

[Shot of Scorpio's launch]

[Scorpio main deck]

AVONThirty hours from now and you should be home.

SOOLIN[rises and moves over to Avon] I'm a bit worried about the inner door alignment still. Do you think you should take a look at it?

AVONI thought you had fixed it?

SOOLINI did, only I'm not sure it will hold. I just thought while there's still pressure on the freight deck, you might want to take a look. [Avon stares at her for a long moment, then rises and exits.]

SOOLIN[to Zeeona] Tell me quickly: do you want to go back?

[Comm room. Tarrant enters.]

VILAWhere have you been? She was looking for you to say goodbye.

TARRANTDidn't see any point in saying goodbye, not when she's coming back again.

DAYNAComing back?

TARRANTYes, so long as Soolin can work it before they're out of range.

[Scorpio main deck]

SOOLINYes or no?


SOOLIN[pointing] Get a bracelet and stand in there. [into comm] Scorpio to base, we're teleporting now. [Zeeona vanishes.]

[Comm room. Zeeona appears in the teleport bay.]

DAYNAWelcome back.

VILACome to stay this time? [Tarrant approaches her, they hold hands, then turn to go.]

ZEEONA[pauses in the doorway, to Dayna and Vila] Thank you. [Tarrant kisses her.]

[Scorpio main deck. Avon enters.]

AVONI can't see anything to worry about back there.

SOOLINOh, thanks for checking anyway.

AVONWhere is our passenger? [pause] You've sent her back, haven't you?

SOOLINShe wanted to go.

AVONAnd you helped her.

SOOLINZukan need never know. He saw her come aboard and as far as he's concerned she still is. When he gets back to Betafarl he'll think she's simply disappeared again. We know nothing about it.

AVONHe'll never believe that.

SOOLINBut you lie so well.

AVON[pause] We're going back.

SOOLINIf we do, Zukan will know for certain.

[Shot of Betafarlian techs working in Freight bay.]

[Comm room]

DAYNAAlmost there.

ZUKANAnother day. The programming will take longer.

DAYNAWill it be ready to test-run by the time Scorpio gets back?

ZUKANI hope so. Has Avon arrived yet?

DAYNABy this evening.

ZUKANBetafarl has perpetual day -- did you know?


ZUKANIt never sleeps. Perpetual light. All that energy. There are times when I miss the darkness. It is hard to live always in the light. I shall leave this evening, there's little more I can contribute here.

DAYNAWell, won't you stay for the test run?

ZUKANMy people will, I have confidence enough in them. [He exits. Dayna keys the comm.]

[Shot of Scorpio in space]

DAYNA[v.o.] Base to Scorpio. Scorpio, do you read?

[Scorpio main base]

SOOLINScorpio to base, we hear you, Dayna. Go ahead.

DAYNA[v.o.] Zukan to depart base for Betafarl in three hours. I say again, Zukan thirty-two hours behind you. Do you understand?

AVONOnly too well.

DAYNA[v.o.] Happy landings. Out.

AVONHe's going to get here and discover that his daughter is nowhere to be found before we've even finished loading.

SOOLINUnless we get a move on.

AVONIf it comes to a choice between the alliance and Zukan's revenge, don't think that I won't sacrifice you. [Soolin smiles.]

[Zukan's ship. He and Finn are seated at the control panel.]

FINNUp to power.

VILA[On comm] You're clear for liftoff, Zukan.

ZUKANI salute you all. [The scene shakes, apparently to signify launch.]

[Comm room. Screen displays a rolling list of numbers {note: X = small block}:
77 X12X6
X3 935886
336544 8
smeti wen
7886: :355
08: 87

{printout evidently continues but camera shifts away.} Tarrant and Zeeona link hands. Vila and Dayna watch as they leave with Tarrant's arm around her shoulders. Dayna looks at Vila who rolls his eyes.]

[Zukan's ship]

FINNGlad I won't be down there half an hour from now.

[Crew room. Vila pours a red drink and gives a glass to Dayna. Tarrant and Zeeona enter.]

VILAAhh, you're just in time. [hands glasses to them]

ZEEONAThank you.

VILAWhen your father finds out he'll probably incinerate us all, do you realize that?

ORACSomeone would seem to have anticipated him.


ORACScans indicate a foreign object in the teleport bay. My calculations suggest that it is an explosive device.

DAYNAA bomb?

ORACPrecisely. [they start to rush out of the room]

[Comm room. Tarrant and the others rush in, look around.]

TARRANTI can't see anything. Where? Where, Orac?

ORACIt's at floor level on the right-hand side. [Tarrant enters the teleport bay and an explosion goes off, knocking him backward.]

[Quick montage of shots: explosion at an exit, more explosions, Dayna falling, a crack opening in the ceiling, more exits exploding, falling debris, a beam landing on Orac, the faces of Tarrant and the others reacting as this is happening. All this is overlaid with the sound of an alarm going off.]

[Comm room. They are all on the floor.]

VILAWhat's happening?

DAYNA[Rises and starts to work with the controls] Channel one dead. Two dead.

TARRANTKill that alarm, somebody. Vila, switch it off! [Vila turns off the alarm.]

DAYNAWe've got channel five. [The screen shows the Freight bay with the techs running about, then other shots of static or fallen rubble.]

TARRANTIs that all?

DAYNAIt's all the entrances and exits.

TARRANTWe've been boxed in.

DAYNAYes, but....

TARRANTExtent of damage, Orac? [pause, no response] Orac?

[Crew room. Tarrant enters and looks at Orac beneath the beam.]

[Shot of Zukan's ship in space, approaching another space ship.]

SERVALAN[v.o.] Is it well met, Zukan?

[Zukan's ship]

ZUKANWell met it is, Commissioner. [Finn opens the airlock and Servalan enters.]

ZUKANThis is Finn. Without him I couldn't have done it.

SERVALAN[completely ignoring Finn] If you had only told me the whereabouts of their base you needn't have done anything. Are they dead?

ZUKANDying. Now.

[Corridor filled with rubble. Tarrant and Vila are working their way along it.]

VILAWe don't know how far it goes.

TARRANTWe're about thirty yards from the mouth of the tunnel, it can't go any further than that. [They continue along, past more debris, hanging ducts, etc.]

VILAIt could take us anything up to four days to dig that far.

TARRANTAt least we've got enough air. The ventilation system's still functioning.

VILAWell, that doesn't make sense either. Why should someone block us in but leave us air to breathe?

DAYNA[on comm] Tarrant -- get back here.

TARRANT[into comm] Why? [no reply, just static]

[Comm room]

DAYNA[pointing at screen] Look! [Screen shows Freight bay, with lightening effect as the techs scream and fall.]

ZEEONAThat was Jarder.

VILAWhat the hell is doing that?

DAYNAWhatever it is it's coming towards us, it's getting nearer all the time.

VILAWhat is it, Tarrant?

TARRANTI don't know.

VILAWhat's causing it?

ZEEONAI don't know. The explosions, something--

TARRANT[has been looking at the ventilation duct] The air. It's in the air, that's why the ventilation system's been left working. Whatever it is it's being carried in the air.

VILAThe air?


TARRANTSwitch it off.


TARRANTAll life support systems off. We've got to stop the air circulating. [Vila, Dayna and Tarrant frantically work controls. The lights dim down. Tarrant checks the duct.]

ZEEONAAre we safe?

TARRANTHow do I know?

VILAHow much oxygen have we got down here? How long can we last without fresh air?

TARRANTEighteen, twenty hours.

DAYNAAnd how long to dig our way out?

TARRANTAnything up to four days.

VILAOh no.

DAYNAOh well, I was never very good at maths, but--

VILAYou don't have to be. We're dead.

[Zukan's ship. Servalan is looking at her own ship outside the viewport.]

SERVALANYou know the composition of the antitoxin. You didn't leave without obtaining that. That's why you wouldn't tell me the location of their base, so that you would have a chance to get it.


SERVALANThen immunize your people if you do not trust me.

ZUKANAnd Khom, Hirrial, Tarl?

SERVALAN[gestures expansively] And the rest. [approaches him] Yours to take, yours to keep. [rubs his shoulder] I gave you my word.

ZUKANExcept I know how worthless words are.

SERVALANToo late. You can't undo what you've done, so you have little choice but to trust me.

DAYNA[On communicator] Base to Scorpio. Base to Scorpio. Avon, come in please. Base to Scorpio, do you copy?

SERVALANSomeone isn't dead.

ZUKANThey soon will be. That base is sealed like a tomb.

SERVALANWhat if Avon heard?

ZUKANHe's been on Betafarl for three hours. He'll have left Scorpio by now.

[Sandpit on Betafarl. Nothing else is in sight.]


AVONAccording to Zukan's coordinates which were confirmed by flight control.

SOOLINThere's nothing here. No vegetation, no crop pickers, no harvester. Nothing. [Avon and Soolin look about for long moments]

AVONWe've been tricked.

SOOLINMmm, but why? [They walk off. Out of their sight, a Federation trooper rises from where he was buried beneath the sand. He runs after them, then shoots at Avon and Soolin, who run and duck. Other troopers shoot from the lip of the pit. Troopers flip and jump down into the pit. Avon and Soolin draw their guns.]

AVONFederation guards.

SOOLINYou know what that makes Zukan, don't you?

AVONI know what it it makes us. [Avon fires and kills a trooper. Soolin shoots one, Avon gets another. They run across the pit. Avon shoots two more troopers. Soolin looks up to see four more approaching, then turns her gun on Avon.]

SOOLIN[to Avon] Drop your gun. Drop it. [The approaching troopers fire another shot and Avon drops his gun.]

SOOLIN[to the troopers] Don't shoot. Don't shoot. [One of the troopers pulls her gun from her hand and tosses it away. He strikes Avon across the chest with his rifle, knocking him down.]

SOOLINI am Zeeona, daughter of Zukan, and I give you Avon.

[Zukan's ship]

SERVALANIt was a mistake to let Avon take your daughter. If he escapes we've achieved nothing.

ZUKANYou do not trust your own men, Commissioner?

SERVALANIt isn't a matter of trust so much as matching ability.

ZUKANAgainst one man?

SERVALANAgainst Avon.

ZUKANYou make me wonder if I didn't choose badly. You fear him. He and I, together we could have been invincible.


CAPTAIN[v.o., from comm] Commissioner.

SERVALANYes, Captain?

CAPTAIN[v.o.] Signal from Betafarl, Avon's been taken.

SERVALAN[Smiles. After a pause] Send me his corpse.

CAPTAIN[v.o.] What about Zukan's daughter?

SERVALANWhat about her?

CAPTAIN[v.o.] There's a woman with him who claims that's who she is.

SERVALANTell them to let her go. [To Zukan, with a shrug] She would have to know sometime. [She goes to the airlock, which Finn opens for her.] Enjoy your new territories. [She enters the airlock and Finn closes it. Unnoticed, she attaches a small bomb to the wall.]

[Sandpit. One Federation trooper is carrying Avon across his shoulders, escorted by another. Soolin stands watching a little ways off, near a third trooper. The trooper drops Avon to the sand, and they begin to stake his hands down. Soolin holds a small device hidden against her leg and activates it.]

SOOLINHow are they going to kill him? [The trooper approaches her, she thrusts the device into his belly, and he groans and doubles over. The troopers with Avon look over at the noise, and Avon flips over, pulling his hands free. He fights off the troopers, knocking the gun from one of them. Soolin uses the gun from the trooper she took out to kill four more troopers nearby. Avon retrieves the gun he knocked free and uses it to kill the last trooper.]

[Shot of Scorpio lifting off.]

[Rubble filled corridor. Tarrant and Vila are working at a blockage with pry bars.]

VILAWhy don't we try blasting through?

TARRANTThe roof's already been weakened. Another blast could bring the lot down.

VILA[Throws down his pry bar in frustration.] We're never going to make it like this!


VILAWe haven't got four days!

TARRANTMaybe it'll only take four hours, or fourteen. Now help me! [Vila picks up his pry bar and goes back to work.]

[Comm room. Dayna is reading a screen. It reads out:

Damage Report on LIFE SUPPORT
L hn vdntdrl thnn NTT
Main Ventilation DAMAGED
Water System SLIGHT
Containing virus
553 :6887
new items
more numbers scroll by.

DAYNA[punching frantically at keys] Oh no! This machine is suggesting an airborne virus.


DAYNAA radioactive airborne virus.

ZEEONAOh. Radioactive airborne virus. But if that's what it is it'll get through to us eventually no matter what we do. [pause] There was a research program, on Betafarl. [pause] Radioactive airborne virus. But that means there could be only one person responsible for all this.

DAYNALook, there's little point in speculating about that now--

ZEEONA[interrupting] It's not speculation: my father!

[Zukan's ship]

FINNNothing for nearly three hours. [Zukan just looks at him] From them.

ZUKANThey're all dead. Eleven good Betafarlians. Do you think you'll see them in your dreams, Finn?

FINNNot me.

ZUKANI will, if my dreams aren't already overcrowded.

FINNYou should take dream suppressants.

ZUKAN[shakes head] They don't help. I see my bad dreams in other people's eyes. [waves his nearly empty glass at Finn] Get me a drink. [Finn goes to the dispenser, pushes a button and removes a fresh drink. On the way back he passes the airlock and looks inside.]

FINNZukan. [beckons him over]

ZUKAN[looks into airlock] Get it off the wall! [Finn opens the airlock and enters, takes the bomb from the wall and turns back towards Zukan -- who is shutting the door in his face. Zukan hurries over to the control panel and pushes a control labeled "DANGER OUTER DOOR."

FINN[His head distorts] Aghhhhh! [Shot from outside Zukan's ship showing debris blowing away from the airlock. There is an explosion and the ship is sent spinning in space.]

[Debris filled corridor. Vila and Tarrant are shifting a large slab of concrete.]

VILA[groaning] Oh, ah, oh. I can't keep this up.

TARRANTStop it then, shall we? Go back to the others and tell them we've decided to die.

VILAWell, why don't they come and do some?

TARRANTWhen we need them, they will.

VILAWHEN? I say we need them now.

TARRANTWhen I say so. [They see a glowing pink vapor entering through a gap in the rubble.]

VILAWhat is it?

TARRANT[Consults his bracelet] Paraflame Five. It's lethal, get out!

[Comm room. Dayna and Zeeona watch as Tarrant checks around the door frame with a handheld scanner.]

TARRANTWell, we're safe so long as the air seal on the door stays good.

DAYNAWhat is Paraflame Five?

TARRANTIt's a coolant. There must have been a pipe running along the tunnel and either the explosion or the roof fall fractured it. [They walk through into the crew room, where Vila is lounging on the table, drinking.]

ZEEONAOdd a coolant called Paraflame, it's a contradiction in terms.

VILAYes, isn't it? I wonder why. Perhaps we should devote our last few hours to fathoming that out.

TARRANTWhy don't you just go and crawl into that bottle, you don't want to help, you don't want to think -- you're useless.

VILAThinking. This is it. [Rises and goes over to Zeeona, shoving her on the shoulder twice, making her cry out slightly.] Thanks to you and your father we're all dead.

TARRANT[ramming into Vila, driving him back onto the table where he holds him and cocks his fist] You little runt. [Dayna blocks Tarrant's arm, Zeeona also gets between them.]

DAYNADon't, Tarrant.

ZEEONAWhy hurt him for speaking the truth? [tries to lead him away] Come on.

AVON[v.o.] Scorpio to base. Scorpio to base. Come in base. [They all rush back to the comm room.]

[Note from transcriber: what follows is one long, continuous scene, but the setting jumps between three locations: the Comm room at Scorpio base, Scorpio itself, and Zukan's ship.] [Comm room]

DAYNA[into comm] Base to Scorpio, we're receiving you, come in. [Zukan's ship]

ZUKANEmergency, mayday, mayday, can anybody hear me? [there are flames, another explosion, Zukan falls to the ground then gets up again.] Emergency, emergency, mayday, can anybody hear me?

DAYNA[v.o.] ...enough oxygen for twelve more hours, at the most thirteen. How soon can you get Scorpio within teleport range?

AVON[v.o.] Wait, Dayna. [Scorpio]

SOOLINWe can't do it.

AVONScorpio to base. It will be at least twenty hours before we can lift you off, which means that you must reduce your oxygen intake or we must think of something else.

DAYNA[v.o.] Well, the opinion here is we've exhausted all options.

ZUKAN[v.o.] Zukan to Avon, [static] to Avon, do you read?

AVONWait, Dayna.

ZUKAN[v.o.] Zukan to Avon, Zukan to Avon, do you read me, [static] to Avon. Zukan [static]

AVON[into comm] I read you, Zukan. What do you want?

ZUKAN[v.o.] I can tell your people how to obtain fresh, clean air. [Comm room]

ZUKAN[v.o.] But before I do you've got to help me. [Zukan's ship]

AVON[v.o.] Help you how?

ZUKANI'm out of control, drifting. Short on oxygen. Pick me up and I'll tell you how to save your people. [Scorpio]

AVONWhere are you, Zukan?

ZUKAN[v.o.] I don't know, I've lost all computer function, but my distress beacon's on two-two-one.

AVON[snaps fingers and points at Slave] Find it Slave.

SLAVEI think I have, Master. Of course, I could be wrong.

AVONHow near?

SLAVEEr, fifteen hours.

AVONZukan, you are too far away, they will be dead before we reach you. [Zukan's ship]

AVON[v.o.] Tell them how to get the fresh air and we will rescue you. I give you my word.

ZUKANYour word? Your word is not good enough, Avon.

AVON[v.o.] They will all be dead in fifteen hours.

ZUKANIf two of them volunteer to die, [ship appears to rotate 360 degrees] the oxygen they have left will last the rest of them.

AVON[v.o.] If just one of them dies, for any reason at all, so do you, Zukan.

ZEEONA[v.o.] Father, it's Zeeona, father. I'm here on the base with the others.

ZUKANNo. No, no, you're not there, you're not there. [Comm room]

ZEEONAFather, if you leave us no choice, I shall volunteer to die. Tell us how to get fresh air, father. [Zukan's ship]

ZUKANNo, no, you're on Betafarl.

ZEEONA[v.o.] I was teleported back to the base, father.

ZUKANNo, no, you were seen on Betafarl.

AVON[v.o.] That was Soolin. You are murdering your own daughter, Zukan,

ZUKANYou're trying to trick me, Avon.

ZEEONA[v.o.] I watched Jarder die!

ZUKANNo, you're on Scorpio. You're in league with Avon.

ZEEONA[v.o.] I'm on the base, father, please!

ZUKANI don't believe you. [Comm room. Zeeona grimaces in anguish.]

ZUKAN[v.o.] I don't believe you! [Scorpio]

AVON[to Soolin] I think we can do it without him. [into comm] Tarrant are you there? Tarrant?

TARRANT[v.o.] I'm here.

AVONGood. If it is possible to get fresh air, as Zukan says, then not all the ventilators are contaminated, so which way did the virus come at you? [Comm room. Dayna pushes past Zeeona.]

DAYNA[into comm] We think the first place affected was the freight chamber. [Scorpio]

AVONSlave, show me the Xenon base ventilation system.

SLAVEAt once, Master. [displays crude schematic on screen]

AVONGood. Now, what I would have done would have been to connect the neutron bombarder to the the air ventilators and reverse the flow. Instead of pushing air, it is sucking air, and the virus, into the whole system. Simple. [into comm] Tarrant, disconnect all north side ventilators and reverse the air flow. That way you will get fresh air coming in against the contamination.

[Zukan's ship]

ZUKANYou're wrong, Avon. If your man does what you've told him, you've killed them all for sure.

ZEEONA[v.o.] Father, father, please!

ZUKANNo, no, you're not there! [he sees vision of his daughter on the viewport] [Comm room. A display screen shows the same schematic as Avon was looking at before.]

AVON[v.o.] Do it, Tarrant.

ZUKAN[v.o.] You're wrong, Avon. I'm the only one who can save them.

ZEEONAThen tell, us, father, tell us! [Scorpio]

AVONDo it, Tarrant! [Comm room]

VILAOh, get on with it. What difference does it make if he is wrong? [Tarrant draws a small box around one part of the schematic with a light pen.]

TARRANTPower on, Dayna. [Dayna flips some switches. The lights come up, sound of ventilator running.]

[Zukan's ship]

ZEEONA[v.o.] I am on the base, father. We have fresh air again now. [Zukan sees a vision of Servalan on the viewport, followed by one of Zeeona. There are more flames, he screams, and his ship explodes.] [Comm room. Zeeona screams.]

[Scorpio. Tarrant teleports in, Zeeona greets him and they kiss, then move over to the others.]

AVONAll right, Zeeona, what's it like down there? Salvageable?

TARRANTIf we can get rid of the contamination.

VILAWhich is a pretty big if.

AVONPerhaps we could reverse the process on the neutron bombarder and use it as a neutralizing filter. Is that feasible, do you think?

ZEEONARisky, though. It's not very stable, it could go critical.

AVONOne person must go down. Volunteer? Or shall we draw lots?

ZEEONAI'll go.


ZEEONABecause I'm the only one who knows how to work it.

VILASeems reasonable.

TARRANTShut up, Vila.

ZEEONAI want it to be me. It has to be me. [Turns her head to look at Tarrant] Don't you understand?

TARRANTThen I go with her.

AVONNo. She will go alone.

SOOLINLet her do it her own way, Tarrant. You'd demand the same.

DAYNAI'll get your suit. [exits]

ZEEONA[to Tarrant] I shall be perfectly all right. [kisses him, then exits.]

SOOLINI'll work the teleport.

[Freight bay. Zeeona looks at the body of one of the dead Betafarlian techs, then walks over to the bombarder. She opens the box she brought with her and starts to remove something from it.]

[Scorpio. Tarrant is pacing about.]

TARRANTIt's been too long.

VILACould be a faulty communicator on the suit.

AVON[Into comm] Zeeona? Zeeona?

TARRANTI'm going down.

VILA[blocks Tarrant's path] Nothing can have happened to her.

TARRANTHow do you know?

VILABecause she's protected from everything by the suit. Radiation, poison gas, fire, wind, rain--

AVONOh, let him go down. [Avon rises. Tarrant moves over to him, stares at him for a long moment, then bolts. Dayna follows. Avon smiles slightly, edging into a grimace.]

[Freight bay. Zeeona's body is lying on the floor, with the lightning effect playing on her face as her flesh vanishes to leave just her bare skull and hair.]

[Another part of freight bay. Dayna and Tarrant enter. Dayna uses a hand scanner.]

DAYNAIt's worked, the place is clear. [They remove their helmets. Tarrant runs on into the freight bay.]

TARRANT[calling as he runs] Zeeona! Zeeona! [he sees her body and turns aside.] Ohhh.

DAYNA[passes by Tarrant and picks up a glove.] She took her glove off. [She exits. Tarrant looks over at Zeeona's body.]

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