James Follett

(c) 1979 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 Nicole Vifian.

Dramatis Personae

Kerr Avon
Vila Restal
Del Tarrant
Dayna Mellanby
The Caliph
The Thaarn
*? = indistinct

(on Liberator's flight deck)
VILANow that's not fair. I'm twenty thousand credits down.
CALLYCome on, Vila, pay up.
VILAWhy don't I ever win?
AVONBeing a born loser may have something to do with it.
DAYNAAnd a bad one at that.
ORACRule 10. A player may miss two turns while on a penal colony planet. On his third turn, he must pay a ten thousand credit fine, and leave the colony.
DAYNANow's your chance to come out fighting, Vila.
VILAOh, sure, on miserable little space shuttle while he's got an entire battle fleet waiting for me.
AVONOne cruiser, if you check. I didn't consider you worth a battle fleet.
VILAAnd if I got past it, where could I go? (alarm sounds)
DAYNACome and stay at my hotel in Space City, Vila. Only five thousand credits per night, with all your favorite extras thrown in.
VILAI might as well give up.
AVONDon't you always? (alarm sounds) What's the matter, Tarrant?

TARRANTI'm getting a zero zero five course deflection.
ORACWhat about the game?
AVONWhat was the deviation the first time?

TARRANTVery little. Zero zero two.
AVONEven a course deflection of zero zero one is significant if it hasn't been programmed by the navigation computers, which it hasn't. Auron is still the reference point, according to this.
ORACWhat about the game?

TARRANTZen. Why have we had three course deflections that we have had to correct manually?
ZENAnalysis of navigation and main drive control computers is proceeding.

TARRANTNot very helpful.
AVONBut significant. Usually Zen can check all systems in milliseconds. The fact that he is taking longer suggests that tests are being carried out right down to component level.

TARRANTVila, Cally, Dayna. A full manual check on all systems, weapons, force wall, everything.
ZENInformation. Analysis at all function levels indicates that all systems are functioning normally.
VILAWonderful. There's nothing wrong with the Liberator, therefore we must have imagined those alarms going off.

TARRANTOrac, a small problem for you. What is the possiblity of a directional control fault arising on the Liberator without Zen knowing about it?
ORACThe chances are that had the game continued as it should have done, I would have won control of the galaxy on a probability of ten thousand four hundred and fifty to one.

TARRANTOrac, it was only a game.
DAYNAOrac with delusions of grandeur, Zen unable to control the ship. I'd say we've a lot of little problems on our hands.
AVONCourse deflection is zero zero five. Speed Standard by five and increasing. I'd say we have one large problem on our hands.
CALLYAccording to this, Zen is correct. There's nothing wrong with the ship. I just don't understand it.

TARRANTOrac, I'm waiting for an answer.
ORACThe ship is behaving normally, and I can offer a high-status prediction that it will continue to behave normally.
AVONCourse deflection is zero one five, speed standard by seven. Zen, put the asymmetric thrust computer on-line and set to automatic course correction.
ZENConfirmed. Course now established.
DAYNASo, who do we beleive? Zen or Orac?
CALLYWe felt the ship vere off course, therefore we must beleive Zen.
DAYNAYet the Orac computer is infallible.
AVONOrac has a weakness: a thirst for knowledge. Infallibility depends upon your point of view.

TARRANTHow about testing his infallibility in the recycling machine?
ORACI have already made perfectly clear that the ship is behaving normally. It is obeying Newton's First Law of Motion and will continue to obey it. Further discussion of the subject is now closed.
AVONNewton's first law states that a moving body will continue to move in a straight line and at a constant speed.

TARRANTThere's more. A moving body will continue to move in a straight line and at a constant speed unless it is acted upon by an outside force. Someone or something has got a traction beam on us. Cally, I want a telemetric bandsweep. If you pick up any signals from any ships within ten million spacials, jam them.

TARRANTZen, report any ship or unaccountable object within ten million spacials.
ZENDetector analysis indicates no ship or unidentified object within specified distance.

TARRANTDouble the distance.
AVONThere is no known power in the universe that can operate a traction beam over that distance.
ZENDetector analysis result: negative.

TARRANTJust because you don't know how to build a high-energy traction beam doesn't mean that no one else knows how to build one.
ZENInformation: speed now Standard by Eight. Course deviation zero two zero. Sustained asymmetric thrust draining energy banks at depletion rate nine.
DAYNAWe'll be in trouble if we have to activate the force wall.
CALLYI'm picking up absolutely nothing.

TARRANTHow close were we going to Auron, Cally?
CALLYWell, you know how close.

TARRANTIt's just that if the Aurons are responsible for this, I wonder what it is you did to upset them before you left.
CALLYI'll tell you sometime. Anyway, Tarrant, this is not the doing of my people. For one thing they're not hostile and for another they haven't developed the traction beam.
DAYNADo they all have your telepathic powers, Cally?
CALLYSome, to a degree, but our powers are limited. I've never made any secret about --
DAYNAWhat about telekinetic powers, the ability to exert a force at a distance? Maybe that's a secret you've kept.
AVONThere seems little point in blaming the Aurons for our troubles when we are nowhere near Auron.

TARRANTThat's the spiral arm in sector twelve. That means were on the edge of the galaxy and into spiral space.
AVONHardly a healthy place.

TARRANTSector twelve is uncharted. When I was at the Federation Space Academy, survey ships sent to chart Sector Twelve had a distressing habit of not returning.
VILALet's hope it's a habit we don't pick up.
ZENInformation. Speed increase to Standard by Nine.

TARRANTIt looks as if we already have.
ZENInformation: speed Standard by Ten. Asymmetric thrust no longer able to correct course deviation.
CALLYWhy not turn the ship round and use the main drive to slow down our acceleration?
AVONUse brute force in an attempt to counter a force we do not understand?

TARRANTThen what do you propose?
AVONDoing nothing.
VILAOh, fine. I may not be the bravest man in the galaxy --
AVONAre you sure?
VILA-- but I'd rather go down fighting than doing nothing.
AVONWe will do nothing to counter the force acting upon the Liberator. We then plot the Liberator's course on the main battle computer flight predictor to see exactly how she is behaving. Once we understand how the force is operating we may be some way toward defeating it.

TARRANTStrange. The Liberator's following a curve. Traction beams produce straight-line motion. Zen, I want a prediction of the Liberator's course based on existing data. Slingshot orbit.
AVONWhich means that the force acting upon the Liberator is nothing more than gravity. We are falling. Towards what, I wonder?

TARRANTZen, put forward coordinate eight nine zero on visual.
ZENConfirmed. Requested coordinate on forward detector visual in precise center of screen.
DAYNABut there's nothing there.
AVONZen, use long range intensifier. Three guesses, if you need them.
VILAA black hole. My god. We're falling into a black hole. So what will happen when we skim round that thing?
AVONIf it is a collapsed white dwarf star, gravitational distortion will tear the Liberator apart. Our remains will spread out over the entire surface adding a thickness of a few atoms to its diameter.
DAYNANo one could accuse you of trying to hide things from us.

TARRANTWhy did Orac lie when he said the Liberator was behaving normally?
ORACI did not lie. Considering the proximity of that fascinating black hole, the ship was and is behaving normally.
AVONOrac, what is so facinating about this particular black hole?
ORACALL black holes are fascinating. Their gravitaitonal pull is so massive that not even light can escape from them. A cubic inch of black hole matter can weigh a million tones.
AVONWe know all that. And so do you. So why this particular black hole?
ORACThe absence of x-ray emissions. Normally colliding particles in the vicinity of a black hole emit xrays.
AVONSo you decided you would like a closer look.
ORACThe absence of xrays highlighted a gap in my knowledge of the universe which cannot be tolerated.

TARRANTSo without telling us, you reprogramed the navigation computers.
ORACI have noticed that the occupants of this spacecraft have a lamentable lack of interest in the more fascinating aspects of the universe. You must excuse me, I have many observations to make.
VILAWhy don't we switch him off and put ourselves out of our misery.
AVONI would advise against it. Orac may be gathering information that could prove useful to us.
VILAUseful! He's got us into this mess.
ZENInformation. Forward scan detectors indicate dust cloud density six in flight path. Range: one million two hundred thousand spacials.
AVONActivate the force wall.

TARRANTWe can't afford a drain on the energy banks.
AVONAt this excelleration rate, every dust particle could stike the Liberator with the force of a meteoroid.
ZENConfirmed.(oppressive noise. They all sink to their knees, hands over ears.)
ZENInformation. Ship's velocity now in excess of design limitations. Force wall collapse imminent. (distortion effect. Dayna, Vila, Cally unconcious. Avon struggles towards the seating. Tarrant rouses and crawls towards Avon. Avon removes spacesuit from storage compartment, starts to pull it on.

TARRANTNo, Avon! We all go together. You hear? Together! (reaches Avon, grabs at suit)
ORACFascinating. Fascinating.

TARRANTWe all go together.(Tarrant grabs at Avon's throat. Avon tries to push him away)
AVONThere is a faint chance for one of us. (they are overcome and collapse. Sudden silence, deck is dark. Tarrant recovers first)

TARRANTAvon. Avon! (Avon starts to attack, then pulls back)
AVONWhat happened?

TARRNATIt looks as if we survived the slingshot orbit.
AVONI would have said impossible. Would have said. (Vila groans)
AVONOur hero lives.

TARRANTAt least he didn't try to get into a spacesuit.
AVONI look upon self-interest as my great strength. Vila.

TARRANTOne day, Avon, I may have to kill you.
AVON(smiles) It has been tried. Vila, wake up.
VILA(sees six Avons) I'm in hell -- and it's full of Avons. What's the good news?
AVONWe survived the orbit.
ORACFascinating. Fascinating! A thousand years here would be too short.
AVONZen, increase the lighting. Zen! Increase the light!
ZENDelay regretted. All commands now require prior verification.
AVONBy what?
ORACBy me. It has been necessary for me to assume control of the ship. Excuse me. I have many observations to make.

TARRANTWe'll deal with Orac later. Now we have to get Cally in to a resusitation chamber.(Tarrant and Dayna lift Cally, Vila drinks from a small bottle)

DAYNARespiration, Heartbeat, and blood pressure now normal. There's a lot a brain rhythm activity I just don't understand.
THAARN(V.O.) You came, Cally. I have waited for the time that light takes to cross a thousand galaxies. I knew that someone would come.
CALLYWho are you?

TARRANTIt's alright, Cally. You'll be fine.
THAARN(V.O.)I am the Thaarn, Cally.
CALLYThe Tharn?

TARRANTCally, it's me, Tarrant. Can you hear me?
THAARN(V.O.) Do you remember stories they told you about me? When you were a little girl on Auron? Do you remember the children's rhymes? The songs you sang about the Thaarn? (Tarrant and Dayna talk behind this)
CALLYI remember.

TARRANTCally, it's me, Tarrant. Can you hear me?
CALLYI hear the Thaarn. So near.
THAARN(V.O.) So alone, Cally. So...alone. Soon we should be together. We shall rule the universe. But now, you must sleep, sleep, sleep.
DAYNEBrain activity now normal. What was it she said?

TARRANTI dunno, something about 'tharn'?
DAYNAShe'll be all right now, we should leave her sleep.

TARRANTI've got some unfinished business with Orac to attend to. (on flight deck. Tarrant removes Orac's key)
AVONWe will need that.

TARRANTWe'll manager without it.
AVONWe did not complete the slingshot orbit around the black hole as we supposed.

TARRANTThen where the hell are we now?
AVONWherever it is, we are not in space.

TARRANTZen, run through all the detectors on the main screen. I want an identification of every constellation.
AVONThere are no stars out there, Tarrant. There is nothing.
ZENAll scanners now sequencing. No stars or astral bodies present. Therefore unable to comply with identification request.
AVONAn unlikely possiblity is that we have fallen through the black hole into the so-called negative universe of antimatter, where time and energy no longer exist.
VILAThat sounds like a way of saying we're nowhere.

TARRANT(inserts key) Orac, where the hell are we?
ORACA fascinating place. Fascinating. Space outside the ship has ceased to exist. It is essential that we do nothing to contaminate this place until it has been thouroughly investigated.

TARRANTIf space has ceased to exist, let's see how it responds to our neutron blasters. Dayna, two blasts at ten percent power.
DAYNAZen, put up the radiation flare shields.
ZENConfirmed. Radiation flare shields in position. Neutron blasters cleared for firing. (Cally appears)
DAYNATwo blasts, at ten percent power, now.(two blasts, and crew is rocked twice)
VILASomeone is shooting back!
DAYNAThey fired back at the same energy level.
ORACYou're shooting at yourselves, which is making my observations extremely difficult.
VILAHow can we be shooting at ourselves?
CALLYWhy not, if space is curved back on itself? Here-
DAYNACally! We were worried about you.
CALLYI feel perfectly alright now. What's happened?

TARRANTYou were delirious.
CALLYI can hardly believe that.

TARRANTYou were raving about the 'tharn' or something.
CALLYWhy would I talk about a mythical creature in children's stories?
DAYNAYou tell us.
CALLYWell, it seems absurd. The Thaarn is as mythical to me as dragons and unicorns are to the people of Earth.
AVONMore important than worrying about creatures that do not exist, is worrying about our present situation, which most certainly does.

TARRANTAnd what do you suggest we do?
AVONExamine the outside.

TARRANTIf you want to teleport into oblivion, you just go right ahead.
AVONThe outer teleport transducers were damaged when the force wall collapsed. Someone is going to have go out through the inspection hatch in a spacesuit and replace them.
VILAThe time we've been in space without a refit that -- that hatch will be space-welded shut. Anyway, who would risk it?
AVONSomeone who has a talent for opening locked doors.

TARRANTAnd has demonstrated a grasp of the problems involved.
VILAOh no. Not me. Not a space suit. Well, it wasn't my idea. One of you can go outside. I never did trust those things. Nothing, absolutely nothing in the whole galaxy can or will persuade me to wear one. Not a chance.

(in suit)

VILAI'm now in the inspection compartment. (V.O.) I am now depressurizing. I am now trying to open the hatch.

TARRANT(V.O.suit comm) Use your delicate skillful touch.
VILA(Stomps on hatch, which gives) I used my delicate skillful boot. (lowers himself through hatch) Can't see anything. Nothing but darkness.
CALLYVila, be careful.

TARRANTVila, what happened.
VILA(Hanging by his fingers) Hey! There's gravity here.
AVON(V.O.) Gravity? Are you sure?
VILAWell, of course I'm sure! So would you be if you were in the mess I'm in. If I let go, God knows how far I'll fall.

TARRANT(V.O.) Drop something. See how far it falls. (Vila drops a flashlight, then himself a few inches)
VILAWe must be on the surface of a planet. It's hard, and even, like it's artificial. Gravity feels about normal. Doesn't make sense. Unless... Yes, that's it. We're in a huge, underground cavern of some sort. No wonder Orac's thinking we're shooting ourselves. The walls must have reflected our blasts. What do you want me to do now?
AVONCircle out from the ship.

TARRANTBut don't go too far.
VILAI wasn't planning to. I'll call in two minutes. Out.

TARRANTDoes anyone have even a faint idea of where we are and what sort of mess we're in?
THAARN(V.O.) Cally. Come to me. Come to me, Cally. I need you. Need you.
THAARNNeed you.
DAYNAWhat's the matter, Cally?
CALLYThere's something out there, a force, something all powerful and evil.

(Vila walks, picks up debris)

AVONGo ahead.
VILASomeone's been here before us. There's bits of what look like part of a spacecraft scattered all over the place. There are also lumps of rock, like meteorites or something.
AVONAll right, Vila, pick up some samples and get back to the ship.
VILAAvon. Tarrant. The ground's vibrating. (sees lights approach) There's something coming.

TARRANTVila, get back to the ship.
VILAIt's a beautiful light. So beautiful.

TARRANTVila, run. You must get back to the ship.
VILASo beautiful.

TARRANTCally, make him run.
CALLY(V.O.) Vila, listen to me. Run, Vila. It will kill you. Run. Run. Run! (Vila runs, trips, hose disconnects)
VILATarrant! I've holed my spacesuit! I'm losing pressure!

TARRANTActivate the scanner and put it on the main screen. Put up the radiation flare shields and clear the neutron blasters for firing.
ZENNeutron blasters are cleared for firing.

TARRANTDayna, stand by for a fifty percent blast from forward projector. Zen, lock on to approaching target.
ZENConfirmed. (The claw reaches up and breaks the scanner. The screen goes dark)
DAYNAWhat the hell was that?

TARRANTWhatever it was, it knocked out our scanner.
ZENBackup scanners activated. (The screen comes on again. The lights retreat)
AVONIt didn't like its taste of our neutron blaster.
DAYNAIt had a sort of claw.
AVONDesigned to tear things apart. Space craft, for example.
ZENBio-scanners indicate presence of humanoid life form in the vicinity of the ship. (Vila's body on screen)

TARRANTI'll go and fetch him. We can deep freeze his body until we're back into space, where we can give him a decent star orbit burial.
AVONAssuming we ever get back into space. (Tarrant is outside in suit, kneels beside Vila, who sits up, removes helmet)
VILAOrac was absolutely right when he said that space had ceased to exist outside the ship. This place has a breathable atmosphere.

(on flight deck)

ZENThis item was once part of a main drive stabilizer on a type six survey ship. Atomic resonance analysis shows that all the hurculanium alloy in the component has been drained away. This accounts for the components low tensile strength. The piece of rock is a fragment from a beta-class asteroid. All the natually occuring minerals are present with the exception of hurculanium, which appears to have been removed by a process which is not understood.
AVONHerculanium is the strongest known metal in the universe.
ORACCorrect. The Liberator's outer skin is fabricated from it. It is a contributing factor to this ship's invincibility.
VILASo whoever or whatever runs this place hauled the Liberator in to melt it down for scrap.

TARRANTIt looks as if you're right about that thing wanting to tear the ship apart.
ORACWe are dealing with a highly advanced technology, far more advanced than previously encountered. They must require the herculanium for a very special purpose.
VILAWhich means that thing will be back with its friends.

TARRANTWhich means that we'd better be ready for them.

(Cally, Avon, Tarrant, Dayna outside. Large object on wheels approaches, rotating lights and huge teeth painted on it)

VILAIt's not the thing they sent before.

TARRANT(into bracelet) Stand by, Dayna. Something nasty this way comes.
DAYNA(V.O.)Tarrant, all the energy's draining from the banks. The blasters are useless.
AVONIt would seem that this crude device is intended to frighten primitive people from underdeveloped worlds.
VILAIt's doing a pretty good job on me.

TARRANTLet's see if it thinks our neutron blaster primitive.
VILA(tries to shoot large blaster) It's been nutralized. (they run around object, it suddenly stops)
CALIPHWelcome to Krandor, my friends. An artificial planet, which is the palace of the Lord Thaarn, Master of the Universe. I am the Caliph of Krandor. Among other things, it is my duty as the Lord Thaarn's chief executive, to negotiate a purchase price for your ship. We, uh, usually use this for rounding up runaway slaves. Oh, quite inappropriate in this instance, but it was nearest at the time. I do hope you understand.

TARRANTWe don't understand anything.
CALIPHOf course, of course. My friends. You will come with me, and all will be made clear.

TARRANTNo one moves. Any explaining will be done here. (Caliph point his cane at Tarrant, who goes to his knees in agony)
CALIPHA neuronic whip. It can turn an agressive man into a gibbering idiot, an uncooperative man into the most willing slave, temporally, or permanently. But then, you've already had an effective demonstration of the Lord Thaarn's powers while aboard your spacecraft, which to us a thousand cubic cobars of much needed herculanium alloy. We must see that you get a fair price. Double the normal slave rations until the debt is discharged. Yes? You may keep your handguns and bangles if it makes you feel happier. Only the technology of the Lord Thaarn prevails on Krandor.

DAYNATarrant. Avon, answer please. Where are you? Answer me! Tarrant!
CALIPHThey won't hear you, child.
DAYNAWho are you? How did you get aboard?
CALIPHAre you the one that they call Cally? (uses n-whip)
DAYNA(cries out in pain)
CALIPHIn the presence of this you can neither lie nor resist. Are you the one that they call Cally? The Lord Thaarn is most anxious to meet you.
DAYNAMy name is Dayna. Cally is with the others.
CALIPHVery well, Dayna. Come with me. Come. The Lord Thaarn sensed the presence of another aboard this ship, one called Orac. Where is he...or she?
DAYNAThere is no person of that name aboard this ship, and never has been.

(in a cell)

AVONThe technology of the Lord Thaarn.
CALLYThe Thaarn is a myth. He never existed outside children's stories and legends.

TARRANTYou think this cell is a myth?
VILATell us about the Thaarn, Cally.
CALLYIt's the oldest story in the Book of Auron.
VILAWell, let's hear it. I like a good story, meself.
CALLYThe story goes back to the mists of Time, to the Dawn of the Gods. There were seven gods who discovered the planet Auron, and on it left the first man and woman. A million years went by. The gods returned. They were no older even though a million years had past.
AVONNot impossible if they had a spaceship capable of traveling at near the speed of light.
CALLYI did say it was just a legend. The gods returned and were pleased with what they saw, and they bestowed on the people of Auron great gifts: new types of crops, which ended hunger, constant peace --

TARRANTAnd telepathy?
CALLY-- and telepathy was promised. But one of the gods was very jealous. He didn't believe that the people of Auron deserved all this. He was frightened they would one day become so powerful they would challenge the supremacy of the gods themselves. And in his rage, he killed another god. The five remaining gods were so angry, they built a chariot for him and sent him beyond the threshold of space and time. The mad god swore a terrible vengeance. He said that he would return again. He said that he alone would discover the eternal secrets and become the one great master of the universe. You see? A legend.
VILAHe sounds the sort of character you should keep an eye on, not go around banishing.
CALLYOn Auron, the name of the Thaarn is a symbol of darkness and evil. (Caliph enters cell with Dayna)
CALIPHSo. You're Cally.
CALLYWhat of it?
CALIPHYou are honored, child. The Lord Thaarn wishes to see you.

TARRANTShe stays with us. (Caliph uses neuronic whip on Tarrant)
CALIPHTake her. She will come to no harm, provided that you cooperate of course. Groff is especially anxious that you should cooperate. He is Krandor's senior technician, and has many, many targets that must be met.
GROFFThere is a member of your crew we cannot find. Orac. Where is he?
CALIPHThe neuronic whip is on an automatic setting. It has only to sense one lie and it will boil your brains in your skull. Where is Orac?

TARRANTIf he's not on the ship, I don't know where he is.
CALIPHHow tall is he? (Tarrant demonstrates) A dwarf?

TARRANTWe never think of him as one.
CALIPHWhat is the color of his hair?

TARRANTHe hasn't got any. A bald dwarf shouldn't be too hard to find.
CALIPHI will instruct the slave masters to organize search parties.

ZENAll energy banks recharged.
ORACExcellent. Excellent. There is now little point in further communications between us by audio channels. In future we will communicate by direct sensory link.

GROFFThis is where you'll be working, provided you're as good at dynamic flux mathematics as you say you are.

TARRANTIt was one of my best subjects at the Federation Space Academy. (Avon smiles)
GROFFYou went to the F.S.A.?

TARRANTI'm surprised you've heard of it if you're from another galaxy. What is this place?
GROFFThis is the very nerve center of the Lord Thaarn's great plan. The gravity generator control room.
AVONAnd what is his great plan?
GROFFTo become master of the universe. He has promised all of us our own planets. There will be vast estates, and incalculable wealth for all of us. You too if you cooperate. There will be plenty for everyone. We will be kings, and the Lord Thaarn will be supreme emperor. Sit down. There is no reason why we should not start work immediately.

TARRANTGraphite writing stick? I've never seen these things outside museums.
AVONStart work on what?
GROFFOn the calculations, of course. You see, we have thousands of unsolved dynamic flux equations, simple enough but they take time.
AVONWhy not use calculators or computers?
GROFFWe couldn't do that.

TARRANTGroff, what's that?
GROFFA finger?

TARRANTA finger. And as you can see, it is better designed for pressing buttons than holding writing implements. So why can't we use computers?
GROFFThe Lord Thaarn will not permit their development on Krandor. He will allow no superior intellects to his

GROFFI don't know, it is better not to ask such questions!
AVONPerhaps he had an unfortunate experience with a computer.

TARRANTHaven't we all?
AVONGroff, where does the Lord Thaarn come from?
GROFFI don't know. No one does. No one has ever seen him except the Caliph. Now you must do these equations -

TARRANTAnd where do you come from, Groff?
AVONA Federation world that specialized in the building of survey ships and providing them with crews.

TARRANTYes, all the best exploration missions went to you Xarin.
GROFFI am not a traitor. One has to make a new life here, you have no choice.

TARRANTThen how did you come to be here?
GROFFThe same way as you. We lost control over our ship, the gravity generator dragged us down.
AVONDoes it generate a beam or a total field? We will need to know that if we are to work on these equations.
GROFFTotal field.
AVON(writes) Clever. It must require a great deal of energy.
GROFFAnd the new shields require a great deal of herculanium if the power is to be increased. And the design of the shields requires the answers to many equations.

TARRANTYou had a family on Xaranor?
GROFFA wife and two children. I do not think of them anymore. The work of the Lord Thaarn is more important.

TARRANTHelp us to escape, Groff, and we will return you to Xaranar, I promise.
GROFFHow could you?

TARRANTDon't forget, we have our ship.
GROFFThe Caliph has sent out a salvage team to slice it up. Very soon your ship will be no more than a pile of scrap metal.

(On the flight deck, two suited figures cut the consoles with laser-like instruments. They move towards Zen's interface. A large purple cloud appears)

ORACI would strongly advise against going too near that. I must warn you that it is a defense mechanism generated by the ship's computers. Please, gentlemen, I must earnestly implore you not to come any closer. It is extremely dangerous. (The two men collapse) Fascinating.

(Cally sleeps on a circle bed)

THAARNCally. Cally? You came. I needed you and you came. I've been alone with my plans for so long. Cally. Plans to build a new universe, with no one to share them with, until now. The universe, Cally. And the great univeral force that controls the universe, is gravity. The orbit of the planets, the slow turn of the galaxies. I have built a machine that can generate gravity. When it's complete, it will be powerful enough to move planets, and stars. He who controls gravity, controls everything. We will be rulers of the universe, Cally.
THAARNYou will be the queen of a thousand worlds.
CALLYNo! I'll have nothing from you, nothing. If you don't understand that, you're not fit to rule anything.
THAARNPlease. Cally. Don't make me destroy you, I'm so alone, I need you. So alone. Sleep now, Cally, decide when you have slept. Sleep.

CALIPHYou tell me what it is you have aboard your ship, otherwise you'll be dead in three seconds.

TARRANTI don't know what you're talking about.
CALIPHTwo men sent to smash the Liberator have been found dead.
GROFFThe Liberator!
CALIPHWas it Orac that killed them?

TARRANTI don't know.
CALIPHWhat manner of weapons does he have that can work while the energy isolators are switched on?

TARRANTWe don't know. None of us knows what type of arms Orac has. He keeps himself to himself.
CALIPHI shall turn out every slave to search for him. He will be found and destroyed. Then it will be your turn. All of you!
GROFFThe Liberator? They said it was invincible.
AVONPropaganda that we find useful.

TARRANTThanks to Orac it sounds as if the Liberator is still intact. A trip to Xaranar wouldn't take too long.
GROFFEscape is impossible. While the energy isolators are on, your handguns won't work and it is not possible to put the gravity generator into the negative field mode.
AVONBut putting the gravity generator into reverse would collapse the floor beneath the Liberator and allow her to fall out into free space.
GROFFIt would weaken the atomic structure of the floor. It's the same way you came in.
AVONAnd putting the gravity generator into full reverse, would cause Krandor to disintigrate.
GROFFWorse than that. It would blow up.
AVONGravity in reverse.
GROFFThat is why only the Lord Thaarn alone has control of the energy isolators.

THAARNCally. Wake up. Have you decided?
CALLYYes, Thaarn. We will rule the universe together. But there's something troubling me...
THAARNAbout your friends? They will come to no harm.
CALLYNo. Why should I care about them? You're using a field, I can sense you are. How can I be sure that I am making the decision of my own free will?
THAARNIt's only the energy isolators, Cally. They have no effect on your free will. I promise.
CALLYIf you want me to trust you, switch off the energy isolators, then I can find out for myself.
THAARNIt's too dangerous. Cally.
CALLYThen I will never be able to trust you. (draws handgun)
THAARNVery well. You see, your feelings are no different. (Cally shoots randomly around her)

GROFFThe energy isolators have been switched off! Get to the others, get back to your ship quickly!

TARRANTWhat about you?
GROFFI'll be alright, get going! But if you could tell them, my family, they were always in my thoughts.

TARRANTWe'll tell them, Groff. (Groff tries to move main switch)

VILAWhat kept you?
DAYNAWhat about Cally?
AVONWe'll have to leave without her.

TARRANTCome on, move!

THAARNCally, Cally, you've hurt me. Why? No, Cally! Stay away, I beg you. You mustn't see me.
CALLYI have to see you if I am to kill you. (moves curtain)
THAARNI have been ?* in time, but the price has been high, so very high.

CALIPHGroff? (they grapple over the switch)

CALLY(to Vila, outside the ship) Come on! (all run inside)

TARRANTZen, stand by to activate main drive, if and when we enter free space.
ZENConfirmed. Main drive standing by. The ship is now in free space. Main drive activated.

TARRANTZen, standard by eight. Put the rear scanner on the main screen.
ZENInformation. Detectors indicate that a small spacecraft has left object centered on main screen and is flying on a reciprocal course.
CALLYThat must be the Thaarn. I should have killed him.
VILAWhat did he look like?
CALLYI never saw him.

TARRANTZen, I want a course for Xaranar.

TARRANTWe promised to take a message there. Didn't we, Avon?
AVONI suppose we owe Groff that much.

TARRANTI'd say so.
AVONSo, the Lord Thaarn escaped. I suspect we have made another enemy. A pity.
ORACA pity? A pity. It is intolerable! There is insufficient room in the galaxy for his intellect and mine. (Tarrant takes key)

TARRANTI don't know. He did have one redeeming feature. He didn't like computers.
ZENCourse for Xaranar laid in.

TARRANTThank you, Zen.

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