Killer
Original Airdate: February 20, 1979

[Liberator in orbit]

[Teleport room]

AVON: Do you know where we want to be?
CALLY: Yes.
AVON: Let me see you locate it.
(she operates the control panel and signal comes up on the tracking display)
AVON: All right, make it quick.

[Fosforon surface]

(Avon and Vila head off along a shoreline until they see the Q-Base dome in the distance)
VILA: So that's it.
AVON: Er huh.
VILA: Not like home. How are we going to get inside?
AVON: We'll find a way. ...Come on.

[Flight deck]

(Cally comes in)
CALLY [OC]: They're down.
JENNA: What?
CALLY: Avon and Vila. They're a mile from the Q-Base.
BLAKE [OC]: Just a minute.
CALLY: What is it?
JENNA: We've picked something up.
BLAKE: We think.
CALLY: What?
JENNA: I'll swear it's moving.
BLAKE: Zen, give us optimum range on the aft scanners.
ZEN: Confirmed.
(there is a trace on the viewscreen)
JENNA: There it is. Look! The spectro says it's ferrous.
BLAKE: Could still be a meteor a long way off. ...Clear vision.
ZEN: Confirmed.
CALLY: So it's certainly not a meteor.
(a spaceship is on the viewscreen)
BLAKE: Incredible!
JENNA: Well, what is it?
BLAKE: Probably the oldest ship you'll ever see, Wanderer-class, the first Earth ships to reach deep space.
JENNA: So how old?
BLAKE: Six, seven hundred years. Close vision.
JENNA: It's hardly moving.
BLAKE: They were slow, Jenna, ...infraluminal. Question is, how did it get here?
JENNA: Well, what do you mean?
BLAKE: Well, even travelling at maximum speed it would take, what, ...three thousand years for one of those things to get this far out.
CALLY: It must have been lifted here.
BLAKE: And then set adrift? Why?
JENNA: I think we should take a look.
CALLY: No.
JENNA: Oh Cally, there can hardly be any danger.
CALLY: I detect life.
BLAKE: Human life?
CALLY: Yes. Oh I don't know, there is something. ...I ...I'm confused.

[Fosforon surface]

(Avon and Vila get down as a rocket launches)

[Flight deck]

ZEN: Attention! Sensors indicate surface launch.
JENNA: A missile?
BLAKE: No, it can't be. They can't have spotted Liberator. We've got the blind down.
(the rocket is on the viewscreen)
JENNA: There it is. Look! Just leaving the ionosphere.
BLAKE: They're sending up a salvager from Fosforon.
JENNA: Well, they'll get a surprise. ...Seven centuries. It just doesn't seem possible.
BLAKE: It isn't, and that is what is worrying me.
(Cally is stroking her forehead)
JENNA: Are you all right Cally?
CALLY: They're ready. ...They're watching.
BLAKE: Who? What are you talking about? Cally, what are you picking up?
CALLY: I don't know. But Blake, there is something malignant on that ship.

[Wanderer-class spaceship in space]

[Fosforon surface]

(Avon and Vila reach the edge of Q-base and find a pipe outlet)
AVON: We can get inside through here.
VILA: Must we?
(Avon uses a fission cutter on the grille)

[Q-Base corridor]

(white tunic-clad women and black cape-clad men, one of whom is Tynus, are going about their business)

[Fosforon surface]

(Avon and Vila are being watched)

[Tynus' outer office]

(Tynus is sketching a grasshopper. Tak comes in)
TYNUS: Have you checked with Section Six?
TAK: Yes sir, there is something there. They're watching it, sir, but it won't come nearer than two hundred thousand miles.
TYNUS: It will now Tak, Doctor Bellfriar sent out a recovery team.
TAK: It's only a piece of junk. It's too small to be anything important.
TYNUS: Dr Bellfriar hasn't much to do, he should take up a hobby. Make sure he gets ground transportation and course co-ordination will you please?
TAK [OC]: Right sir.
TYNUS: That's all.
TAK: What will Dr Bellfriar do with it, sir?
TYNUS: He'll bring it back to his laboratories and analyse it, then analyse what he's analysed. I could never understand why a scientist of his eminence should choose to bury himself here.

[Q-Base compound]

(Avon and Vila emerge from the pipe, climb a ladder, avoid two Federation guards and run across to the main building. two more Federation guards come out of a lift which they then enter)

[Q-Base lift]

AVON: This is where he'll be.
VILA: How do you know?
AVON: He's the Base Commander, this the Command Centre, it has a certain logic wouldn't you say?
VILA: Well, ...he might be on holiday.

[Q-Base corridor]

(Avon takes a couple of black capes off a hook)
AVON: Put this on.
VILA: What do you call this, then?

[Flight deck]

(Blake plugs in the activator)
BLAKE: Orac, I want to tap Central Spacecraft Registry. Can you do that?
ORAC: Tap? What is that?
BLAKE: Obtain information from the records.
ORAC: That is possible, but it will take time.
BLAKE: I want the histories of every Wanderer-class 1 spacecraft ever registered.
ORAC: Very well. This information will be relayed as obtained through the auxiliary monitor.
JENNA: Still worried? It's not our concern, you know.
BLAKE: I don't like mysteries. Zen, range the aft scanners on that ship again.
(the ship appears on the viewscreen)
BLAKE: That salvager will be making hull contact within the hour. I think they should be warned.
JENNA: What about?
BLAKE: There's life aboard.
JENNA: Blake, that is a Federation base down there. The salvagers are manned by Federation personnel.
BLAKE: They're human.
JENNA: I need proof of that.
BLAKE: ...Cally is not often wrong.

[Q-Base corridor]

(Avon and Vila arrive at Tynus' office door. Avon kicks the door open)

[Tynus' outer office]

TYNUS: What do you men want?
AVON: Hello Tynus.
TYNUS: Kerr Avon. ...How the devil did you get here?
AVON: Something called a teleport system. It beats shuttles.
TYNUS: Come into my quarters. It's safer there. Did ...anyone see you?
AVON: Well if they did, they didn't look twice.

[Tynus' inner quarters]

(Avon, seeing a hand basin, goes to wash his hands in it)
AVON: Do you mind?
VILA: We've just been through a pipe.
TYNUS: Ah, are you sure no one saw you?
AVON: Did you hear any alarms? That, by the way, is Vila.
TYNUS: Yes, yes, one of your colleagues from the Liberator.
AVON: I see they're keeping you in touch.
TYNUS: Well, amongst other things, Q-Base is also a radio link station. Fosforon may be a hole in the middle of nowhere, but we still get Federation gossip.
AVON: That's why we're here.
TYNUS: I don't understand. ...What do you mean?
AVON: Tynus, you really didn't think that I dropped in to talk over old times?
TYNUS: No.
AVON: Blake sent us. The Federation have started transmitting A-line messages using a new pulse code. We need to break that code.
TYNUS: That's impossible.
AVON: Not impossible, Tynus. Remember, we trained together.
TYNUS: That code is unbreakable without a TP crystal tuned into that pulse.
AVON: Exactly. That's what we've come for.
TYNUS: No, I can't do it.
AVON: You can, ...and you will.
TYNUS: It's more than my life's worth, Avon.
AVON: We need that crystal, Tynus. You must have a spare. They always supply two.
TYNUS: It's not that easy. I'm only the Commander Technician here. Federation Security is in charge of all sensitive stores.
AVON: ...I see. All right, the TP crystal is part of the A-line converter, is that right?
TYNUS: Yes.
AVON: Then it will have to break down.
TYNUS: Huh.
AVON: You can arrange a little malfunction there, then apply for the replacement crystal, we'll take the old one. We don't mind second-hand goods, do we Vila?
VILA: No, we're not fussy.
TYNUS: I don't think you know what you're asking.
AVON: I know exactly what I'm asking.
(communicator bleeps)
TYNUS: I'm wanted.
AVON: What's your answer?
TYNUS: I'll have to ...think about it. I must go.
VILA: I hope you can trust him.
AVON: I told you, he's a friend of mine.
VILA: Yes, I always knew you had a friend. I used to say to people 'I bet Avon's got a friend, somewhere in the galaxy'.
AVON: And you were right. That must be a novel experience for you.

[Tynus' outer office]

TYNUS: Where did this originate?
TAK: We don't know, sir. The same message came in on all channels simultaneously.
TYNUS: Couldn't you trace the source?
TAK: We're trying, sir, but the signal was so powerful, it knocked everything out, even the landlines.
TYNUS: Well, ...get this message to Doctor Bellfriar. I think it's intended for his department.
(he puts a finger to his lips, indicating the inner quarters and follows Tak out)

[Q-Base corridor]

TYNUS: Before you do that, make sure this message is A-lined to Federation Headquarters Command.
TAK: Right sir.

[Tynus' outer office]

(Tynus looks at the message Tak had brought him)

[Tynus' inner quarters]

VILA: All the home comforts.
(pours himself a drink)
AVON: Leave that stuff alone.
VILA: You live your way, I'll live mine. ...Mm, must be all of two days old.
(Tynus comes in and Avon draws his gun on him)
TYNUS: Nervous?
AVON: Just careful.
TYNUS: We've just received this odd message. I think it's from your friends on the Liberator.
AVON: 'Advise your recovery team to proceed with utmost caution. Derelict spacecraft may contain hostile life'. What does it mean?
TYNUS: A few hours ago our detectors picked up some space debris. We send a ship to investigate.
AVON: Well, I suppose it could be from Blake. He has these generous impulses.
TYNUS: By the way, why don't our detectors pick up the Liberator?
VILA: Anti-detection screen, one of Avon's gadgets. We're expecting it to break down any time.
AVON: Let's get back to the TP crystal, that's what we're here for.
TYNUS: You know you're asking me to commit suicide.
AVON: Is there something wrong with your memory, Tynus? You owe me, remember?
TYNUS: Not enough to put my head on the block.
AVON: (to Vila) We were in a fraud together. When I was arrested, I kept my mouth shut. (to Tynus) If I hadn't, old friend, you would be sweating out the rest of your life on a convict planet, and that could still happen if I were to let the authorities know.
TYNUS: So that's the way it is?
AVON: Well, let's just say I did you a favour ...and now I'm collecting.
VILA: Nice. When Avon holds out the hand of friendship, watch his other hand. That's the one with the hammer.

[Bellfriar's laboratory]

(Bellfriar comes in from the corridor)
GAMBRILL: Ah, sir, this came about the recovery team.
BELLFRIAR: 'Derelict spacecraft may contain hostile life' This a joke?
GAMBRILL: That's the message.
BELLFRIAR: Who sent it?
GAMBRILL: Nobody seems to know.
BELLFRIAR: What's Tynus doing?
GAMBRILL: Painting, I imagine. That's how he spends most of his time.
BELLFRIAR: Oh, the man's space-happy, of course. This base is full of psychotics.
GAMBRILL: Do you think the signal is a hoax?
BELLFRIAR: No, this message was sent before anyone could have known what that recovery team would find. It does say quite categorically 'derelict spacecraft'.
GAMBRILL: You're going to take it seriously then?
BELLFRIAR: Well, I think it would be wise, Gambrill. Somebody out there seems to know more than we do. ...How's the recovery going?
GAMBRILL: In approach orbit, should be docking in about twenty minutes.
BELLFRIAR: Good. Alert the station. We want full quarantine around the landing bay, the whole operation to be remote videoed. Everything we practised.
GAMBRILL: All right sir. (into communicator) Chief medic instruction, all personnel. Landing alert, routine one, full quarantine restrictions at the landing bay. (to Bellfriar) If there's anything in this message, sir, I suppose this could be a little piece of history.
BELLFRIAR: A high point in your scientific career, Gambrill. Just think of it, in less than twenty minutes you could be shaking hands with an exomorph.
GAMBRILL: Not if it's hostile, sir, I've got my pension to think about.

[Tynus' inner quarters]

TYNUS: No! No, I can't do it. Apart from anything else, it's practically impossible technically.
AVON: It isn't and you know it. The crystal runs the spectrum from bands L to Y up to thirty thousand megahertz. All you have to do is mess up the feedback from the converter and the effect will show a fault on the crystal.
TYNUS: I see you haven't forgotten your stuff.
AVON: I don't see any problem.
TYNUS: The problem is getting to the converter. I can't do it. I'm the Commander, if I were to be seen to get my hands dirty, people would remember.
AVON: Is there any time that the section is unattended?
TYNUS: No, it's manned all the time, three operators night and day. The only chance I can see...
AVON: Yes?
TYNUS: No, no I can't do it.
AVON: Would you rather the convict planet, Tynus?
TYNUS: Fire is the greatest hazard here, oxygen-rich atmosphere. If I started a small electrical fire near the section, the men on duty would run to their fire-drill positions.
AVON: Good.
TYNUS: That would leave the converter unattended for about ten minutes, long enough to give you the change to get a malfunction organised.
AVON: What will you be doing?
TYNUS: Directing the fire fighting.
AVON: I shall need to look the job over first.
TYNUS: That can be arranged.
VILA: Avon, this whole thing is stretching out. Blake won't want to wait.
AVON: Blake will have to wait! How long before we get our hands on the crystal, Tynus?
TYNUS: An hour to check the course of the fire, make sure the malfunction is working. Then, of course, I'd better get Security to release the spare crystal, oh, I'd say ten hours at least.

[Flight deck]

BLAKE: (into communicator) Ten hours?
CALLY: (on communicator) That is what Avon has reported.
BLAKE: That's a long time.
CALLY: Shall I call them back?
BLAKE: No! Without that crystal we'll never break the Federation pulse code. We need to read their messages if we're to stay ahead of Servalan.
JENNA: Well, sticking around here's no way to stay ahead.
BLAKE: Why? Zen's got the scanners at maximum range, the first sign of trouble, we pull out.
JENNA: If they come at us from behind Fosforon, they're going to be on us before we know it.
BLAKE: Well there's no chance of that, unless they already had our position plotted.
JENNA: Optimist!
(the viewscreen activates)
JENNA: ...What's that?
BLAKE [OC]: We're tracking that Wanderer. I might go down there.
JENNA [OC]: To Fosforon?
BLAKE [OC]: As I said before, I don't like mysteries.
BLAKE: Listen, Orac's done his stuff The histories of every Wanderer-class 1 ever built.
(he plugs in the activator)
BLAKE: Orac, repeat the information you've just given me.
ORAC: The only ship not accounted for is K-47. That went missing seven hundred years ago in the vicinity of 61 Cygnii. The names of the crew were Kemp, Wardin, and Tober. Furthermore...
BLAKE: Thank you, Orac.
JENNA: Only three?
BLAKE: Well, those old ships couldn't take any more. Living in them was like living in a pickle barrel for thirty years.
JENNA: I don't know how they stood it.
BLAKE: Some of them didn't. Mind you, hibernation pills helped.
BLAKE: Does 61 Cygnii mean anything to you?
JENNA: That's the Darkling Zone, isn't it?
BLAKE: Well, that's the poetic name for it, yes. No, it's the only region near Earth that's never been charted.
JENNA: Yes, I remember. A lot of ships have disappeared there. They think it's a centre of meteor storms.
BLAKE: That theory's running a little thin just now. If K-47 hit the centre of a meteor storm, why would it suddenly reappear thousands of light years away?
JENNA: So what's your theory?
BLAKE: I'm not launching any theories till I've tested the water. I'm going to teleport down.
JENNA: What about Avon and Vila?
BLAKE: They've got enough to do.
JENNA: Yes, but what about Federation Security?
BLAKE: Well, at the first sign of trouble, I'll come back up.
JENNA: Look Blake, they know all about the teleport system. The first time they get your bracelet...
BLAKE: Jenna, I have been down before. ...I'm sorry. I will be very careful.
JENNA: All right.

[Evacuation tunnel]

(four boarding team personnel in white protective suits stand waiting)
PUBLIC ADDRESS: Remote recovery unit Red Zero, approach on Site Five. Boarding teams stand by.

[Landing bay as ship touches down vertically]

[Evacuation tunnel]

PUBLIC ADDRESS: Approach complete, boarding team proceed.
(the boarding team leave for the landing bay. Blake teleports in and follows them but is affected by the billowing smoke)

[Bellfriar's laboratory]

GAMBRILL: Quarantine instructions have been carried out. Boarding party are about to enter.
BELLFRIAR: Good. ...Gambrill, who's that fool in the evacuation tunnel?
GAMBRILL: I don't know, sir.
BELLFRIAR: Well get him out of it!
(Blake is on a monitor struggling in the smoke)
GAMBRILL: (into communicator) Come out of there you idiot. Come on, there's an access port right in front of you.
BELLFRIAR [OC]: Find out who it is.
GAMBRILL: Hurry man! (to Bellfriar) Yes sir.
BELLFRIAR: (into communicator) Vision Control, get me vision link to the boarding party.

[Evacuation tunnel]

GAMBRILL: What the hell do you think you're doing, don't you know enough to steer clear of the exhaust vents during a landing? You could have got yourself killed in there.
BLAKE: I thought the ship was down.
GAMBRILL: The engines aren't vented yet. ...You're not one of our men.
BLAKE: No, I'm looking for whoever's in charge. I've got some information concerning that ship you salvaged.
GAMBRILL: Information? What kind of information? Who are you?
BLAKE: Don't ask questions, just take me to whoever's in charge.

[Bellfriar's laboratory]

BOARDING TEAM #1: (on communicator) Nothing here, power deck's clear.
BOARDING TEAM #2: (on communicator) Watch yourselves! Some of these fittings break off in your hands.
BOARDING TEAM #1: (on communicator) Must be stinking centuries.
BOARDING TEAM #2: (on communicator) Nothing in the forward compartment. ...Going up.
BOARDING TEAM #1: (on communicator) Bring the second spot over, will you. ...Watch it!
(a control panel on the ship is on the monitor)
BOARDING TEAM #2: (on communicator) Can't see a damn thing in this dust. ...Where are we?
BOARDING TEAM #1: (on communicator) Looks like the control room. My God! We've found a body here, sir. Human, I think. Things aren't too clear. It's in a compression suit.
(a decomposed head is on the monitor)
BELLFRIAR: (into communicator) Any sign of life anywhere?
BOARDING TEAM #1: (on communicator) Nothing, sir. We've been over the whole ship now.
BELLFRIAR: All right. Put the ...remains in an anti-contamination bag. Bring them down to Doctor Wiler, will you?
(Gambrill has come in with Blake)
GAMBRILL: This is the one I've just fished out of the evacuation area, sir.
BELLFRIAR: Well?
GAMBRILL: Well, you said this base was full of psychotics, you wait till you hear this one.
BELLFRIAR: What exactly is that supposed to mean?
BLAKE: I told him I teleported here. He didn't believe me.
BELLFRIAR: Well, Gambrill's like that, I'm afraid. Lacks faith.
BLAKE: Defined as the capacity to believe what you know isn't true? ...Read this.
BELLFRIAR: What is it?
BLAKE: The service history of that ship you've got in the landing bay. I sent you a warning about it earlier.
BELLFRIAR: Where did this come from?
BLAKE: Central Registry.
BELLFRIAR: Seven hundred years old?
BLAKE: Ah hm.
BELLFRIAR: And just who are you?
BLAKE: Well, according to the Federation, I'm a political criminal. You may have heard of me. My name is Blake.
BELLFRIAR: Yes, but then we're absentminded scientists, you see. In fact, we've forgotten your name already. Haven't we, Gambrill?
GAMBRILL: Whose name, sir?
(communicator bleeps)
COMMUNICATIONS VOICE: Doctor Bellfriar, they're now bringing out the body.
BLAKE: Body?
GAMBRILL: I'll get down there now.
(two of the boarding team carrying a body bag are on the monitor)
BELLFRIAR: That body doesn't look seven hundred years old. What made you think there was hostile life in that ship?
BLAKE: One of my crew comes from Auron.
BELLFRIAR: A telepath?
BLAKE: Yes, she sensed something malignant out there. Not necessarily human. I think you'd better be very, very careful, Doctor Bellfriar.
BELLFRIAR: We're always very, very careful.

[Q-Base corridor]

(Tynus, Avon and Vila wearing protective goggles reach the A-line communications room)

[A-line communications room]

(Avon deliberately knocks an object off one of the desks, indicates to the technician he'll pick it up and gets down on his knees to find it. He examines the circuits under the desks. Because he seems to taking a long time the technician gets up to see what he's doing)
TYNUS: Lacomb, ...message!
(the technician attends to the message, Avon puts the object back on the desk and the three of them leave)

[Tynus' inner quarters]

TYNUS: How do you feel?
VILA: Thirsty.
TYNUS: Do you think you can handle that?
AVON: Maybe. It's a new model, since my time.
TYNUS: No, it's just the way the converter's packaged. The circuitry's the same.
AVON: I shall need more than ten minutes.
TYNUS: That's all the time you've got, Avon, and I can't even guarantee that.
AVON: Tynus, you will give us all the time we need!

[Mortuary]

(the corpse is laid out. Wiler prepares to do an autopsy)

[Mortuary viewing gallery]

(Gambrill switches on monitor. Two technicians join him)
GAMBRILL: There's nothing to see yet.

[Mortuary]

(Wiler continues his preparations)

[Bellfriar's laboratory]

BELLFRIAR: Oh come on Wiler! He's a good man, this, but he's slow, like all pathologists.
BLAKE: What's happened?
BELLFRIAR: Well, it's standard drill with a space death. The autopsy's carried out in a sealed mortuary in case there are any alien micro-organisms around.
BELLFRIAR: (into communicator) Are you all set, Doctor Wiler?
WILER: (on communicator) I'll ...tell you when I'm ready, sir.
BELLFRIAR: Thank you, Doctor Wiler. (to Blake) Do you want to watch this?
BLAKE: Mm.
BELLFRIAR: So you really do teleport, do you?
BLAKE: Over short distances, yes.
BELLFRIAR: Well of course, the theory's as old as physics, but I didn't know it had been cracked yet.
BLAKE: The Liberator's a very advanced ship. Of course, you have to know the surface conditions, otherwise teleporting's a bit like a jump in the dark. You're quite liable to surface in a fission reactor.
BELLFRIAR: Not a mistake you could learn by, really.
WILER: (on communicator) All ready, Doctor Bellfriar.
BELLFRIAR: (into communicator) Thank you Doctor Wiler. Go ahead.

[Mortuary]

WILER: Second Pathologist Wiler, Q Base. Autopsy report coded one-four-niner-niner-zero-six. The clinical presentation is of a well-nourished male Caucasian, aged between, oh, thirty-five and forty-five. There are no surface wounds or lesions that would indicate death by violence. I am now examining the clothing on the torso and upper section of the body. It's extremely old. It disintegrates when touched. Ah, there is a neck chain with a metal disc, which I now examine. The disc is embossed with a number, six figures, possibly a service number, and a name, War... War... W, A, R, D, I, N.

[Bellfriar's laboratory]

BELLFRIAR: (into communicator) Are you ...are you quite sure about that, Doctor Wiler?
WILER: (on communicator) It's slightly corroded, sir, but it's perfectly clear.
BLAKE: (to Bellfriar) Kemp, Wardin, Tober, missing in the constellation of 61 Cygnii, seven hundred years ago.
WILER: May I continue?
BELLFRIAR: Sorry.

[Mortuary]

WILER: There is an old surgical scar extending from behind the left ear in the region of the supra mastoid crest, up over the cranium.

[Mortuary viewing gallery]

WILER: (on monitor) The eyeballs are ...soft and the tissue of the upper extremities is ...also soft, and there is extensive maceration of the skin over the neck.

[Bellfriar's laboratory]

BELLFRIAR: That's a degree of biolysis you get after one or two weeks, not after hundreds of years.

[Mortuary]

WILER: I now raise the left arm of the cadaver to examine the hand, the fingers are dehydrated and mummified and the nails ...are loose.

[Bellfriar's laboratory]

BLAKE: Suppose the body's been frozen.
BELLFRIAR: What, cryogenically stored?
BLAKE: Yes.
BELLFRIAR: Who on earth'd want to do a thing like that?
BLAKE: I've no idea, but ...it's a possible explanation, isn't it?

[Mortuary]

WILER: Before proceeding to examine the internal organs, I now, in accordance with the law. check the EEG reading to verify that life is extinct, which it is.

[Mortuary viewing gallery]

WILER: (on monitor) I shall now mark the tissue and blood samples for laboratory analysis.
(Gambrill looks through the viewing window and gestures to the two technicians)
GAMBRILL: My God! Look!

[Mortuary]

(The trace on a EEG monitor is fluctuating wildly and an alarm is sounding)

[Bellfriar's laboratory]

BELLFRIAR: (into communicator) Wiler! You've got brain life.

[Mortuary]

WILER: (into communicator) That's quite impossible Doctor Bellfriar, may I suggest that you adjust your monitor.
(there is clatter behind him. He turns to find the corpse upright behind him. The corpse starts to throttle him. Gambrill and the technicians break in and free Wiler who falls to the floor)

[Mortuary viewing gallery]

GAMBRILL: (into communicator) Doctor Bellfriar!

[Bellfriar's laboratory]

GAMBRILL: (on communicator) Doctor Wiler's neck's broken.
BELLFRIAR: (into communicator) I'm coming down.
BLAKE: Doctor Bellfriar! Look at the screen.
BELLFRIAR: What?
BLAKE: The EEG screen.

[Mortuary]

(the EEG monitor now has a straight line and the corpse is laying on the floor)

[Tynus' outer office]

(Avon is sitting, doing calculations. Vila taps the grasshoppers' cage)
VILA: Give us a smile. ...Show us a leg. ...I wonder if these make good pets.
AVON: Vila!
VILA: What?
AVON: You're a fool.
VILA: Nerves getting a little frayed?
AVON: There are a quarter of a million volts running through that converter. I make one false move, I'll be so crisped up what's left of me won't fit into a sandwich.
VILA: I'm a vegetarian. Thanks for the offer, though. ...What did Cally say about Blake being here?
AVON: Something to do with that derelict spacecraft. As long as he doesn't mess up our job, I don't care what he does.
VILA: You don't have a lot of time for Blake, do you?
AVON: I could never stand heroes.
VILA: A quarter of a million volts and you're putting your hand in?
AVON: Ah, but that is self-interest. We need that crystal. Blake takes risks to help other people. Sometimes people he doesn't even know. One day that great big bleeding heart of his will get us all killed.
VILA: Unless somebody ditches him first.

[Bellfriar's laboratory]

(Bellfriar comes in from the mortuary)
BELLFRIAR: Poor devil! His cervical vertebrae had been crushed as if they'd been in a vice. No ordinary human being could exert that sort of pressure.
BLAKE: It wasn't an ordinary human being.
BELLFRIAR: It was the body of one.
BLAKE: I think it had been adapted.
BELLFRIAR: What?
BLAKE: Well, when Cally detected life on that ship, at first she thought it was human, then she changed her mind and thought it was alien. I think she was picking up emanations from a cybernetic implant.
BELLFRIAR: Virology's my field, I'm afraid. I'm not following you.
BLAKE: Wiler noticed a... a surgical scar on the head, didn't he? Now suppose some control device had been linked into the nervous system. Well, that would explain the electrical activity in the brain.
BELLFRIAR: Yes, but it stopped and went dead, didn't it?
BLAKE: Well, perhaps its task had been done. The job it was programmed for.
BELLFRIAR: Killing Wiler? It doesn't make sense. Why kill him?
BLAKE: Well, that, I wish I knew.
BELLFRIAR: Oh well, I suppose now we've got have an autopsy on Wiler, as if we hadn't got enough to do. And what about the post-mortem on Wardin?
(Gambrill comes in)
GAMBRILL: I'm afraid we've got more trouble, sir.
BELLFRIAR: What is it?
GAMBRILL: The two technicians who went in to rescue Wiler, they've been taken ill.
BELLFRIAR: They have? What's the matter with them?
GAMBRILL: They just started to act strangely, vague, wandering about, then they went into convulsions. They're in the sick bay now.
BELLFRIAR: That could be a space contamination. You'd better get me the sick bay at once.
GAMBRILL: (into communicator) Biolab, get me Doctor Bax.
BAX: (on communicator) Yes Doctor?
BELLFRIAR: Doctor Bax, those two boys you've just admitted, I want them isolated.
BAX: Too late, I'm afraid.
BELLFRIAR: What?
BAX: (on monitor) They died within minutes of admission. Poisoned, I'd say.
BELLFRIAR: Poison?
BAX: There's nothing else that fast. We've taken swabs, I'm running tests now. I'll let you have the results as soon as we get them.
(communication ends)
GAMBRILL: Twelve to fifteen minutes.
BELLFRIAR: Well, if it's a poison, it must be diapedesistic, something they got on their skins when they were bailing Wiler out.
BELLFRIAR: Good God.
BLAKE: What about the four who went into the spaceship?
BELLFRIAR: They're all right, I checked.
(communicator bleeps)
BAX: (on communicator) Doctor Bellfriar.
BELLFRIAR: (into communicator) Yes?
BAX: (on monitor) Three of my men are showing signs of infection.
BELLFRIAR: Good God! Well that knocks your poison theory on the head, doesn't it?
BAX: Maybe. I'm putting this whole sick bay into isolation as of now.
BELLFRIAR: Do you want any help Doctor Bax?
BAX: It's a medical problem. I think we can handle it.
BELLFRIAR: Very well. If there's anything you want, let me know.
(communication ends)
GAMBRILL: I'll check in gnotobiotics, there might be more cases.
BELLFRIAR: Gambrill, I want this whole section sealed off from the rest of the base. Absolute isolation from now on, prophylaxis of contacts, sterilisation screens in every department.
GAMBRILL: Right sir.
BELLFRIAR: Well, now might be a good time for you to leave.
BLAKE: No, I'm getting curious.
(Bellfriar activates the communicator)
TYNUS: (on communicator) Yes, Doctor?
BELLFRIAR: (into communicator) Commander Tynus, we have an infection alert. It's nothing to worry about, but the landing zone is quarantined until further notice.

[Tynus' outer office]

TYNUS: (into communicator) What's happened?
BELLFRIAR: (on communicator) We've had a few casualties. There seems to be a link with that spaceship we landed. That's all I know at the moment, we're working on it.
TYNUS: I understand. Good luck. (to Avon) That could help us.
AVON: How?
TYNUS: Only our section to handle the fire. Bellfriar's team's out of action.
VILA: You sure there's going to be a fire?
TYNUS: The thermal pack I planted should be going off any minute ...now.
(there are several explosions in equipment. Avon and Vila get the capes from Tynus' quarters and all three don goggles)
TYNUS: It's up to you now.

[Q-Base corridor]

(a Federation guard is seen fighting a fire. Personnel are running through the corridors)
AVON: Come on.

[A-line communications room]

AVON: Watch the door.
VILA [OC]: Avon!
AVON: What?
VILA: Why are we stringing along with Tynus? Look, we've come this far. Forget about setting up the malfunction. Grab the crystal and let's get back to the Liberator.
AVON: Use your head. If we take the crystal now, how long do you think it will take the Federation to figure out who's got it? Five seconds? They will merely issue a new pulse code and we'll be back where we started. Now get back to the door.
(the fire fighting is well underway. A Federation guard collapses and technicians attend to him)
VILA: Nearly ten minutes Avon, get a move on.
AVON: All right, I think I've done it.
VILA: ...Hurry up.

[Bellfriar's laboratory]

(a chemical formula appears on the monitor)
BELLFRIAR: Embalming fluid, as near as dammit.
BLAKE: Mm? What?
BELLFRIAR: The blood sample Wiler took, these are the lab results coming through.
(Gambrill comes in)
GAMBRILL: It's spreading rapidly. We've got eight cases in gnotobiotics and several more in the main lab.
BELLFRIAR: Well, have you traced the contacts?
GAMBRILL: That's the point, sir, there doesn't seem to have been any.
BELLFRIAR: But there must have been. Somebody's lying.
GAMBRILL: I don't think so, sir.
BELLFRIAR: Well then, it must have spread from the sick bay.
(he activates the communicator)
BELLFRIAR: (into communicator) Doctor Bax ...oh, come on man.
GAMBRILL: My God!
(on the monitor Bax is slumped with blisters over his face and left hand)
BELLFRIAR: Nothing we know could do that.
BLAKE: How's it spreading? Through the air?
GAMBRILL: Not necessarily.
BLAKE: It must be airborne. That would explain why the four that went into the spaceship were not infected, they had their own air systems.
BELLFRIAR: Well, if it's a virus, its biotic potential must be incredible. I mean, to kill its host as quickly as that, it must multiply a thousand times faster than anything we know.
GAMBRILL: It seems to attach the nervous system, ...destroying the memory.
BELLFRIAR: The memory? What, just the memory?
GAMBRILL: No, no, that's the first thing, then the motor centre. Then there's a rapid rise in temperature and fulminating blisters all over the body, then the heart packs up.
BELLFRIAR: Are the viral filters all activated?
GAMBRILL: We should be getting the first test results through any minute now.
BELLFRIAR: Well, nothing we can do then, is there? Just sit here and sweat it out.
GAMBRILL: That won't be so easy, sir. The men are on the edge of panic, you can smell it.
BELLFRIAR: Yes, well we can't move towards an antiserum until we've identified the organism and typed its morphology.
GAMBRILL: There might not be that much time, sir.
BLAKE: I presume the station is air-conditioned.
BELLFRIAR: Yes, why?
BLAKE: Shut it down. If you stop the air circulating you might at least slow the spread of infection.
BELLFRIAR: That's a good idea. (to Gambrill) Well go on man, get a move on!
GAMBRILL: Right sir.
BELLFRIAR: Well, we're really going to have to sweat it out.

[Tynus' outer office]

TYNUS: Have you fixed the converter?
AVON: I reckon so.
VILA: You did a good job with that fire.
TYNUS: Yes, it went better than I planned. It almost got out of control.
VILA: What's that?
(Tynus is breaking up some charred pieces)
TYNUS: All that's left of the incendiary mechanism, I don't want that found.
VILA: It wouldn't be recognised.
TYNUS: Maybe not, but there's no point in taking any chances. ...Get rid of it. I'd better make my report to Security. Wait in my quarters will you, and I'll bring you back a food package.
AVON: Make it a big one.
(Vila puts charred pieces onto a sheet of paper, disposing of them into a bin. He looks at the paper, spreads some dust from the bin on it and blows it off. He looks at it and takes it into the inner quarters)

[Tynus' inner quarters]

VILA: Avon, come here!
AVON: What's the matter?
VILA: That old friend of yours should go a long way in the service, the further the better. Listen to this. 'Servalan, Federation HQ, Urgent. Liberator in orbit, Fosforon. Detaining ten hours. Make speed. Tynus, Q-Base'.

[Bellfriar's laboratory]

BELLFRIAR: Well, I've worked in virology for twenty years. I've never come across anything like this before. If it does turn out to be a virus, it's going to make us change all our ideas.
BLAKE: Do you want to hear a theory?
BELLFRIAR: At the moment, I'd listen to anybody.
BLAKE: My idea that Wardin was adapted. 'Why kill Wiler?' you asked, why go to such lengths to kill one man?
BELLFRIAR: I remember.
BLAKE: Wiler was killed to release the virus, to make people go into the sealed-off mortuary to help him.
BELLFRIAR: What? Do you mean it was a deliberate plan? That's a bit far-fetched isn't it Blake?
BLAKE: Have you ever heard of Lord Jeffrey Ashley?
BELLFRIAR: Who?
BLAKE: Mm, pre space age, planet Earth. He was the Commander of a British garrison in America, having trouble with hostile natives, redskins. Ashley ordered blankets from smallpox victims to be baled up and sent to the hostile tribes.
BELLFRIAR: Germ warfare.
BLAKE: Er huh.
BELLFRIAR: You mean we've picked up a bale of blankets, do you?
BLAKE: Seems to make sense.
BELLFRIAR: Sent from where?
BLAKE: May I look at your star chart? ...Here. 61 Cygnii. You notice the area's not charted. I think there's an alien civilisation, highly advanced, deeply distrustful of mankind, avoiding all contact, so that if our ships go too near, they simply vanish. I think K-47 was returned to us, baited with a skilfully preserved human being and loaded with a virus biologically engineered to destroy the human species. ...It's a trap we fell into with both feet.
BELLFRIAR: Well you could be right, ...but the virus is an unreliable weapon.
BLAKE: Huh, this one seems effective enough.
(communicator bleeps)
GAMBRILL: (on communicator) Doctor Bellfriar, ...Doctor Bellfriar.
BELLFRIAR: (into communicator) Yes Gambrill?
GAMBRILL: I can't see us finding a vaccine, sir. We've tried everything, but there's no way we can process these results.
BELLFRIAR: What about the online console?
GAMBRILL: Dead, sir. Probably the fire.
BLAKE: You mean you haven't got a computer here?
BELLFRIAR: Well, there are several of them on the base ...but they're not in the quarantine area. I can't get at them.
BLAKE: All right, give the tapes to me. Tell me what you want to know and I'll get the answer for you.
BELLFRIAR: How?
BLAKE: On board the Liberator, I have the most advanced computer ever designed. The way the infection's spreading here, you'll all be dead before you're half way to getting the answer.
BELLFRIAR: All right Blake. These data blocks contain lab tests on about five thousand micro-organisms. I need them scanned for known characteristics and the stranger, the paratype organism, picked out.
BLAKE: It shouldn't take Orac too long. Keep your receptor open, I'll set up a communications link.
BELLFRIAR: All right.
BLAKE: Good luck. (into communicator) Cally, this is Blake, bring me up.

[Q-Base corridor]

(personnel are running in panic)
GAMBRILL: Where do you think... Where d'you think you're going? Get back to your post. Tak! Get back to your post!
TAK: I'm getting out while I've got a chance.
GAMBRILL: Orders are that nobody leaves this section.
TAK: To hell with orders! I'm not staying here to die.
GAMBRILL: Listen Cal...
(Tak punches him in the stomach and runs off)
GAMBRILL: (into communicator) Doctor Bellfriar, it's Gambrill here. I'm in the observation room area. There's total panic down here. It's not just the technicians, the medics as well, they're all getting out, breaking quarantine.

[Bellfriar's laboratory]

BELLFRIAR: (into communicator) Damn fools! They'll spread the infection right through the base.
GAMBRILL: (on communicator) I tried to stop them. They're mad with fear, they wouldn't listen.
BELLFRIAR: Well, tell the guards on the main entrance 'Nobody leaves'. ...They can shoot if necessary.

[Q-Base corridor]

GAMBRILL: God!
(he staggers off. More personnel rush past)
GAMBRILL: ...God! Tell the guards...
(he collapses and dies. Blisters have broken out on his face)

[Tynus' inner quarters]

VILA: I wonder what plans he has for you?
AVON: What?
VILA: Tynus. He hopes to get a medal for catching us, but he won't want you picked up, not with what you've got on him. I think you're going to have an accident, Avon.
AVON: We shall see who has the accident.
VILA: A man who sketches insects must have an eye for detail. He's probably worked out an ingenious solution.
(Tynus comes in with two food packages)
TYNUS: I've got one for each of you. Hydrolysed protein.
VILA: Thanks.
TYNUS: I've got to put it in the oven first.
AVON: Don't bother.
VILA: Lost our appetites suddenly.
AVON: It's all this hanging about. When do we get the crystal Tynus?
TYNUS: As soon as the fault in the A-line shows up, then I can send to Security for a replacement crystal, but it all takes time. Relax.
(communicator bleeps)
TYNUS: You've nothing to worry about.
(communicator bleeps again. He goes out)
VILA: And if you believe that, you'll believe anything.

[Tynus' outer office]

TYNUS: (into communicator) Plague?!
(Vila and Avon are listening)
COMMUNICATIONS VOICE: Yes sir, it seems so. The men are falling like flies. The rest are cutting out, getting off the base. It's reached the security section, they're dying.
TYNUS: (into communicator) Bellfriar, we've an epidemic here. What're you doing about it?
BELLFRIAR: (on communicator) There's nothing I can do. It's a new virus. ...We've got no defence against it.
TYNUS: That's ridiculous, you're the medical section. My men are dying. You must do something!
BELLFRIAR: All I can advise you is to turn off your air pumps and order your people to stay at their posts. The less they move around, the better their chances.
TYNUS: But I thought you were supposed to be the greatest living authority on viruses, Bellfriar.
BELLFRIAR: Apparently not.
TYNUS: I'm going to see that the Federation Medical Council hears of this.
BELLFRIAR: I don't think that's going to matter to me, Tynus, or to any of us.
(Tynus leaves)

[Tynus' inner quarters]

VILA: That does it! Let's go!
AVON: Not so fast. We came for that crystal.
VILA: Forget the crystal, they're dying like flies out there. Didn't you hear?
AVON: So there will be a lot of panic and confusion. Tynus will have his hands full. If we destroy the converter, destroy it completely, it will look like a result of the fire. When they come to rebuild it, they will not suspect that we have taken the crystal.
VILA: Well, you may be right.
AVON: Let's go.

[Bellfriar's laboratory]

BLAKE: (on communicator) I've got that result for you.
BELLFRIAR: (into communicator) Good man.
BLAKE: According to our scan, the paratype organism is number nine-two-six in your batch of samples.
BELLFRIAR: Now we're getting somewhere. Nine-two-six.
(he picks up a hand scanner)

[Flight deck]

BLAKE: (into communicator) Doctor Bellfriar, anything else I can do to help?
JENNA: Obviously not.
BLAKE: I hope we got that through to him in time.

[A-line communications room]

AVON: Keep an eye on the corridor.
PUBLIC ADDRESS: Attention! All personnel are instructed to remain at their posts. The situation is under control.
VILA: Under control? You know this could be another Casarus.
AVON: What?
VILA: You remember the Casarus swamp fever, killed millions.
AVON: Well there aren't millions here, so don't worry about it.
VILA: Well I'm here, and I do worry about it. I don't like bugs. You can't hear them, you can't see them and you can't feel them, then suddenly you're dead.
AVON: We'll be out of here in a few minutes. Get back to the corridor.

[Tynus' outer office]

(Tynus comes in, looks for Vila and Avon and then takes a gun from under his desk)

[Bellfriar's laboratory]

(Bellfriar is still using the hand scanner)
BELLFRIAR: Beautiful! And so simple.

[Q-Base corridor]

(Avon comes to the A-line communications room door)
AVON: Detonator.
(Vila gives him the detonator. Tak is crawling along. Vila is hit on head)

[A-line communications room]

TYNUS: I thought I'd find you here.
AVON: I got tired of waiting.
TYNUS: Raise your hands. ...Carefully. ...Come round here.

[Q-Base corridor]

(Vila is recovering)

[A-line communications room]

AVON: So you're going to kill me?
TYNUS: It's nothing personal.
AVON: I shall try not to hold it against you.
TYNUS: You know too much about me.
AVON: I should have turned you in when I had the chance.
(Vila comes in moaning. As Tynus reacts Avon jumps him and they fight. Tynus attempts to reach the crystal. Although Vila tries to get a clear shot Avon downs Tynus, who falls onto an equipment panel and sparks fly)
AVON: Thanks for your help.
VILA: Never come between friends, that's my motto.
AVON: (into communicator) All right Cally, get us out of here fast!
(Avon tosses Tynus' gun down onto the floor beside his body. There is an explosion in the A-line communications room)

[Liberator in space]

[Teleport room]

(Avon is holding the crystal)
BLAKE: Well done.
AVON: I can't say that it was a pleasure. Now are we going to stand here and look at it, or are we going to move?
BLAKE: Why?
VILA: Tynus tried to trap us. He sent a message to Servalan.
AVON: There'll be a Federation fleet here at any time.
(communicator bleeps)
CALLY: There's a transmission from Fosforon.
BLAKE: Jenna. (into communicator) ...Go ahead.

[Bellfriar's laboratory]

BELLFRIAR: (into communicator) Blake, I think I've found the answer. Too late, I'm afraid, for anybody here, but it's absolutely vital that you record the following information.
BLAKE: Jenna. (on communicator) You are being recorded doctor, go ahead.

[Bellfriar's laboratory]

BELLFRIAR: (into communicator) Everyone who's been into deep space has had the Terran ague, or the three-day sweats as it's commonly known as. It's a sort of a mild sort of infection, it slightly alters the body's nucleic structure, it seems to be a metabolic reaction to space travel. Well this new virus, Paratype 926, attacks those altered cells and acts as a catalyst, they burst and, well the effects are literally a series of explosions that race through the body's neural cell structure. ...The virus is easily cultured in human tissue or in nucleic acid solution. Now, here is the formula for the antiserum...

[Teleport room]

BLAKE: (into communicator) Doctor Bellfriar, are you saying that this virus is only effective against human beings who've been in deep space?

[Bellfriar's laboratory]

BELLFRIAR: (into communicator) Precisely. It fits your theory. But I don't think that the virus was designed to destroy man, merely to confine him to his own planet. Now here is the formula.

[Teleport room]

BLAKE: (into communicator) Go ahead.
BELLFRIAR: (on communicator) H, N.. ...H, N, O ...oh, My God!
BLAKE: Doctor Bellfriar! ...Doctor Bellfriar!!

[Bellfriar's laboratory]

BELLFRIAR: I've forgotten how to read.
(he realises blisters have broken out on his hands)

[Teleport room]

BLAKE: Transmission ends.
VILA: Fosforon ends.
CALLY: It's no joke Vila.
BLAKE: Cally, Jenna, get the ship moving. I'm going to put out a plague warning.
AVON: Are you crazy?
BLAKE: I've got to warn all traffic to stay away from Fosforon until that virus burns itself out.
AVON: Listen, Blake, Servalan is on her way here. She lands on Fosforon, she gets the plague, she's off our backs for good. You cannot ...put out a warning.
BLAKE: Suppose some of them don't die. Suppose some of them get off in a ship. That plague goes out to all the galaxies. Millions will die because of it. That ...is the one responsibility that I will not take.

[Flight deck]

BLAKE: Zen, I want to put a plague warning transmitter into orbit round Fosforon, then set a course for the constellation Sauros, speed standard by ten.
ZEN: Confirmed.

[Liberator turning in space]

[Flight deck]

BLAKE: There has to be a warning Jenna. ...There has to be.

[Liberator in flight]

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