Countdown
Original Airdate: March 6, 1979

[Federation complex entrance]

(Federation guards are desperately tying to resist Albians who are storming the building)

[Federation control room]

(there is the sound of distant explosions and gunfire. Tronos is sitting at a monitor console. Selson looks out of the door)
TRONOS: Selson.
SELSON: Sir.
(Tronos points to the monitor screen)
TRONOS: That's the third staircase, isn't it?
SELSON: Yes sir ...They're getting closer every minute, sir.
TRONOS: I can see that.
(Selson goes over to Provine at another console)
PROVINE: Where are they now?
SELSON: They're just about...
(pointing at a grid map)
SELSON: ...here, sir.

[Federation complex corridor]

(Federation guards are retreating, closely pursued by Albians. A rebel catches the last guard, they fight and the guard prevails. He reaches up to a communicator)

[Federation control room]

(communicator bleeps)
TRONOS: (into hand communicator) Control. ...Hm, mm. Right.
(he gives Selson a card. Selson goes over to Provine)
SELSON: The Albians have broken though into the outer gallery, sir. The Field Commander reports that despite severe losses, our men are putting up a courageous defence.
PROVINE: Yes, spare me the propaganda, Selson. Can he hold them?
SELSON: He's concentrating what's left of his force to make a stand ...at level three, sir.
PROVINE: If they beat him at level three, there's little margin left.
SELSON: He'll hold them, sir.
PROVINE: I'd like a little more reassurance than your blind patriotism, Selson. Put the status report on the computer and run a probability program.
SELSON: Sir.

[Red decorated corridor]

(the Albians continue to make rapid progress throwing grenades as they go. Provine goes briefly out of the door and is showered by debris from the ceiling)

[Federation control room]

PROVINE: They're dropping bombs down the airshafts now.
SELSON: Computer analysis indicates a ninety-three percent probability that the Albians will overwhelm our defences and take control of the entire complex.
PROVINE: On the evidence of that projection, we have no alternative. We must activate.
SELSON: Sir?!
PROVINE: Tronos, lock the door.
TRONOS: Sir?
PROVINE: Lock the door!
SELSON: Is there nothing else we can do, sir? It means the death of millions.
(Selson brings a box to Provine who inserts two rods from it into his console)
PROVINE: The Albians have always known the penalty for insurrection. Now they must pay the cost.
SELSON: But, sir, there's still a seven percent possibility we can contain the situation. Couldn't we wait a little longer, sir?
PROVINE: No! ...Now, then, Tronos, you know what to do.
TRONOS: I give you four minutes to reach the launch area, then I activate. I then follow without delay.
PROVINE: Right. We'll see you at the ship. ...Four minutes.
(Provine and Selson go out through a door into an escape tunnel)

[Federation complex corridor]

(the fight continues in the corridors)

[Federation control room]

(as the explosions continue Tronos turns from his console as debris comes down from the ceiling)

[Federation complex corridor]

(Albians pursue the guards overpowering another one)

[Escape tunnel]

(Selson is ahead of Provine when there is an explosion)
PROVINE: Selson!
(Selson is down covered in dust)
SELSON: It's no good, sir. There's no way through, ...it's blocked. You must try and get back, sir, ...you must try and get back and stop... Aahh...

[Federation complex corridor]

(Albians arrive at the control room door, down another guard and try to break in)

[Federation control room]

(Tronos looking at his watch is mouthing a countdown. As he does this he goes to pick up his gun and helmet. The door is blown open by a grenade. As he grabs for the gun he is shot down by the first of three Albians)
GRANT: (shouts an order)
(a wounded Tronos pulls himself up on the console and reaches for a button)
CAUDER: Del, stop him!
(Tronos presses the button and the two rods drop into the console. An Albian knocks him to the floor)
GRANT: It's started.
(the countdown accompanied by a ticking shows 999, 998, 997)
CAUDER: I always thought they were bluffing. I never thought that when it actually came to it they'd really activate!
GRANT: You'd better believe it, Cauder. ...Believe it and do something fast.
(the countdown shows 994, 993)
GRANT [OC]: That thing is ticking away the lives of everybody on this planet. I'd say we have less than an hour.
CAUDER: Ralli, get Vetnor up here. I want to know exactly what we're up against, and then put out a general call for anybody who can give help.
RALLI: Right away.
GRANT: And when you've done that, get this place cleaned up, get a casualty report, and get some Federation prisoners for questioning.
RALLI: And while I'm doing all that, what are you going to do?
GRANT: Worry, that's what I'm going to do ...worry.
RALLI: You've got good cause.
GRANT: Sorry, Cauder. I won you a battle, but I lost you a war.
CAUDER: Let's get communications started.
(Tronos is laying on the floor)

[Liberator in flight]

[Teleport room]

AVON: I've got the read-out you wanted on Albian.
BLAKE: Good.
AVON: Nothing very special. Temperate climate in the equatorial zone, but both polar regions are uninhabitable. Temperatures remaining close to absolute zero.
VILA: Sounds bracing.
BLAKE: Population?
AVON: Approximately six million. It was colonised in the last century of the Old Calendar. At first they resisted political affiliation, but then ...they joined the Federation, and they have remained unswervingly loyal.
VILA: Then they're not likely to welcome us with open arms.
BLAKE: I hope we're not going to be on there long enough to sample their hospitality. This is a fast hit and run.
AVON: What are we after?
BLAKE: A Federation officer called Provine. His service record shows he's served with Central Control. I hope he might be able to tell us quite a lot about where they've moved it to.
(comes in and puts a card down for Jenna)
CALLY: There's something coming in from Albian.
BLAKE: What is it?
CALLY: Well, it's a very weak signal but as far as I can make out there's been some fighting. The main text is just a general call for technical assistance and it's repeated over and over again.
JENNA: Could be some sort of uprising.
BLAKE: (to Jenna) Get a locator fix on the signal.
CALLY: It's already pinpointed.
BLAKE: Well done. All right, Avon, get kitted up. You too, Vila.
VILA: Good, terrific, I'm really looking forward to this. Danger, excitement, sudden death ...I can't wait.
BLAKE: What's the matter with you, don't you ever give up?
(communicator bleeps)
JENNA: That's it, Blake, navigation plot completed. We're locked into stationary orbit within teleport range of planet Albian.
BLAKE: (to Vila) Get your gear.

[Liberator in orbit]

[Federation control room]

(Vetnor has been looking at Provine's console)
VETNOR: I don't know, ...just don't know. Some of the circuitry's fairly basic, that I understand, ...the rest...
CAUDER: Oh, come on, Vetnor, there must be something you can do! This is life and death, it must be stopped!
VETNOR: There is one thing, ...might just work. Might, I can't be sure. If I'm wrong...
GRANT: We won't be here to worry, will we?
CAUDER: Could it detonate?
VETNOR: I don't know, there's always that risk.
GRANT: Everything we've done so far has been risk. We're getting very close to nothing to lose. We've got to chance it.
CAUDER: What is it you want to do?
VETNOR: There's a main rotonoid link. If I cut through its primary impulse vein, it might break the circuit. Then again...
CAUDER: It might not. We'll chance it.
(Vetnor reaches down into the console with a tool. which he drops. He retrieves the tool and pulls out a small cableform which he cuts through. There is small detonation and the ticking stops)
CAUDER: We've stopped it!
(countdown is stopped at 722, then restarts. 721, 720 accompanied by the ticking)
GRANT: It hiccoughed, that's all.
VETNOR: Sorry. I don't know what else to try.
CAUDER: That's all right, Vetnor, you did what you could. We'll think of something else.
(Ralli comes in)
GRANT: We've just taken another step towards oblivion.
CAUDER: What do you want, Ralli?
RALLI: We've got some prisoners. You said you wanted to question them.
CAUDER: Yes, I do! Is Space Major Provine amongst them?
RALLI: Well if he is, he hasn't been identified yet. I've got men checking the prisoners' identity papers.

[Escape tunnel]

(Provine is listening outside the control room door)
GRANT [OC]: What about the dead. ...Are you checking them, too?
RALLI [OC]: Yes, of course.
CAUDER [OC]: Well, I hope for all our sakes' he has survived. If he has, we have to find him. He's the only one who knows the complete system.
GRANT [OC]: How will we know him if we find him?
CAUDER [OC]: By his identity papers and his uniform. As far as I know, none of our people have seen him.

[Federation control room]

GRANT: Come on, let's get the questioning started.
CAUDER: Ralli, you go through those files. Find the plans for that thing.
(he indicates Provine's console. Grant and Cauder leave)
RALLI: All right, Vetnor.
VETNOR: I'm sorry I couldn't do the job. It needs tools I haven't got.
RALLI: Well, you'd better go and help look for prisoners.
VETNOR: Right.

[Escape tunnel]

(Provine hides his identity card under a rock)

[Liberator in orbit]

[Teleport room]

(Blake gives a room plan to Jenna and Cally)
BLAKE: Can you correlate the locator fix to this.
JENNA: How about this?
BLAKE: But that puts it right in the middle of the Federation defence complex.
CALLY: Well, we can put you one half co-ordinate point to the fix. That'll put you down in the outer limits of the complex.
BLAKE: That'll do. Let's go. Come on, Vila.
VILA: You're quite sure you need me?
BLAKE: Certain.
AVON: Doesn't it make you feel good to be wanted?
VILA: I've been a wanted man all my life. What I need now is to be unwanted.
BLAKE: Come on. ...Put us down, Jenna.
JENNA: Good luck.

[Federation complex corridor]

AVON: It must have been quite a fight. These men are from the Federation Space Assault Force. They're crack troops.
BLAKE: It's quiet enough now. The battle seems to be over.
VILA: Just one thing we don't know. Who won?
AVON: Let's find out.
BLAKE: Not that way. Let's look at some of the other levels first.
VILA: Why?
BLAKE: I'd rather not meet anyone until we get the geography of this place sorted out. Men fresh from a battle tend to be a little trigger-happy.
(There are sounds of guns firing in the background)
VILA: Trigger-happy?
AVON: It would be stupid to be shot up by our own allies.
VILA: Not only stupid, painful.

[Red decorated corridor]

BLAKE: It's locked.
VILA: Allow me. ...You see, the old magic's still there.
AVON: (to Blake) The old ego, too.

[Rocket silo]

VILA: It's a rocket launch pad!
BLAKE: (to Avon) What do you make of it?
AVON: I'm not sure.
BLAKE: Vila, take a look round.
(Avon reads from the back of the nose of the rocket)
AVON: This is the specification. It's fast but short-range. It has a life-support capability of about a hundred space hours.
BLAKE: But the nearest habitable planet to Albian is over five hundred space hours away.
AVON: Then it would probably have to rendezvous with a mother ship.
BLAKE: Or come back to Albian. I don't see the point in having a rocket like that ...here.
AVON: Just in case of emergencies, perhaps.
BLAKE: Come on, let's go. There's nothing else for us here.
VILA: Blake, look!
BLAKE: What is it?
VILA: There's a sliding section in the roof ...they're launch doors.
(he operates a control on the wall that opens and closes doors in the roof)
BLAKE: Why don't you do that again, maybe they didn't hear you.
VILA: Wait for me!

[Federation control room]

(Ralli is going through the files including personnel records. The escape tunnel door opens and Provine watches her. He creeps up behind her and when she hears him he knocks her out, puts her into the tunnel and closes the door. The countdown shows 587, 586, 585. Provine checks it and leaves by the main door)

[Red decorated corridor]

(Blake, Avon, and Vila are ambushed by Cauder)
CAUDER: Stand where you are! Lower your guns.
BLAKE: Easy now, we're not Federation.
CAUDER: Don't move. Now who are you?
BLAKE: I'm Blake. This is Avon and Vila.
CAUDER: Blake? You mean the Blake who's been giving the Federation so much trouble?
BLAKE: We've certainly been trying ...and from what we see here, you've been doing the same thing.
CAUDER: How did you get here?
BLAKE: Our ship has teleport capability. We came down from the rocket level.
CAUDER: Rockets? Where?
BLAKE: Two levels up.
CAUDER: (to Arrian and another Albian) You two, find that rocket and stay with it. If Provine's alive it'll be his escape route ...My name's Cauder. I'm glad to see you, Blake, all three of you. We have a desperate problem.
BLAKE: Can we help?
CAUDER: If you can't, every living being on this planet will be dead within hours. Come with me.
VILA: Oh dear.

[Red/green decorated corridor junction]

(Provine conceals himself when he hears Arrian and the Albian coming. He then follows them)

[Federation control room]

AVON: This is a solium radiation device.
BLAKE: Solium?
CAUDER: You know about it?
AVON: Enough to know that it's deadly. Once in fission it creates intense radiation. It destroys living tissue instantly.
CAUDER: That's right, and the Federation made us understand exactly its effects, left us in no doubt if we mounted any major rebellion they wouldn't hesitate to use it.
VILA: But to blow up the whole planet, destroy everything's that's here, that's stupid.
AVON: But they don't blow it up, that's the point. Solium itself produces a very small explosion and the radiation fall-out decays rapidly. They could wipe out a whole population and still leave the buildings and the installations intact. In less than a day there is no trace of any radiation.
BLAKE: See what you can do with it. Typical Federation policy. Things are more important than people.
CAUDER: The Federation was bleeding us dry. They levied impossible demands on our economy, gave us no voice in our own government. ...We were little better than slaves on our own planet.
BLAKE: It's a familiar pattern. Go on.
CAUDER: So we decided to cede from the Federation. Oh, we tried to do it legally, went through all the normal diplomatic patterns, through all the interplanetary laws, but none of it did any good. They declared a state of emergency and placed Albian under martial law.
BLAKE: But policing a planet of this size must tie down a fairly considerable Federation force.
CAUDER: No. They had less than a hundred troops here.
BLAKE: What?
CAUDER: They had an easier way to ensure our loyalty. Simple and terrifying. They installed that!
(pointing to the solium radiation device)
BLAKE: Yes, must've been like living with a gun against your heads.
CAUDER: That's right, and that is why we were finally driven to act. ...We knew the enormity of the risk but we had to take it. Somehow, I thought when it came to it, they wouldn't detonate, ...I thought they were bluffing. I was wrong. Now unless we can deactivate that, millions will pay for my mistake.
AVON: I can dismantle the solium device, but first of all I have to find it. This isn't it.
CAUDER: What?
AVON: It is a subetheric transmitter that activates remotely. The bomb itself could be anything up to ten thousand miles from here, hidden anywhere on the planet.
(the countdown shows 503, 502, 501, 500)

[Rocket silo]

(the other Albian hears noise outside and goes to investigate)

[Red decorated corridor]

(Provine grabs him from behind and throttles him)

[Rocket silo]

(Provine closes the door then unsuccessfully tries to open the launch doors)
ARRIAN: You're not going anywhere ...Major Provine. The launch doors won't open. I've smashed the relays. Now don't move! Just throw your gun down, ...carefully, ...there ...where I can see it. ...Good. Now, we're going back to the control room and you're going to deactivate this device.
PROVINE: I can't do that.
ARRIAN: I think we can find ways of convincing you.
PROVINE: I didn't say I wouldn't, I said I can't. Once the device is activated it can't be stopped.
ARRIAN: I don't believe that.
PROVINE: But it's true. It's out of our control now. Neither I nor anybody else can do anything about it. Now, you listen to me. You can give yourself a chance. You don't have to die here with the rest of them.
ARRIAN: What do you mean?
PROVINE: Help me repair the relay. It's a Stadler link, isn't it? Well, there must be a spare in the technical stores, mustn't there?
ARRIAN: Maybe.
PROVINE: Help me find it and we can get the launch doors open. Once we get this ship into orbit, we'll be safe. We can stay out in space until the radiation decays and then return in perfect safety.
ARRIAN: Return to what?
PROVINE: This planet is important to the Federation. They'll bring in settlers, ...repopulate it. You could play an important part in that. You could have power, ...position. Help me now and you won't find the Federation ungrateful.
ARRIAN: And my family, my friends?
PROVINE: I'm afraid there's nothing you can do to help them now. Be sensible. ...To stay here and die with them achieves nothing.
ARRIAN: You think I could live, knowing I'd helped a man who'd murdered an entire world? No, Provine, you're not going anywhere. You're going to stay here and die with the rest of us. Now move.
PROVINE: No, wait.
ARRIAN: Now move!
PROVINE: ...You're a fool.
ARRIAN: ...The door.
(at the door Provine hesitates and then touches the lower blue control rather than the upper red door control. The rocket engine flares. He attacks Arrian, knocking Arrian's gun to the floor. He bests Arrian, picks up the gun and shoots him and powers the rocket down. Provine then begins to leave but then removes a relay circuit, goes to leave again and then decides to change into Arrian's uniform)

[Federation control room]

BLAKE: If there is any information on the location of the device...
CAUDER: But there must be!
BLAKE: Then the obvious place is the safe. Vila, can you crack it?
VILA: It's a tough one, but I've got the combination.
CAUDER: You have?
VILA: Yes, but the buttons are sensitised to respond only to certain fingerprints. I've got to bypass all that before I can go to work on the combination mechanisms.
BLAKE: (to Cauder) If anyone can crack it, he can. Breaking into a Federation stronghold must've taken some doing. How many men did you have?
CAUDER: About a hundred and fifty. They came from resistance groups all over the planet.
BLAKE: But you planned the organisation.
CAUDER: Initially, but it didn't take me long to realise I'd need a professional dealer.
BLAKE: You mean you hired a mercenary?
CAUDER: Yes. He organised the revolution on the planet Arcos, others before that. He has a very good record.
BLAKE: Hm.
CAUDER: I made contact. He agreed to help, but demanded a very substantial sum.
AVON: Mercenaries generally do.
CAUDER: No, I think the price was to satisfy his ego, to prove he's the best in his field.
BLAKE: He's certainly very good at his job to get your men in here. Where is he?
CAUDER: He should be back. I'll fetch him.
BLAKE: Oh, what's his name?
CAUDER: Grant. Del Grant.
(Avon drops a tool)
BLAKE: What's the matter?
AVON: Nothing. It's not important. I was a little surprised, that's all.
BLAKE: Why? Do you know him?
AVON: I once knew somebody called Del Grant, but it was a long time ago. I doubt that this is the same man.
BLAKE: You don't seem very eager to find out. Why?
AVON: There are matters that remain to be settled between us.
BLAKE: Like what?
AVON: I told you, it's not important.
BLAKE: If it is not important, then why did his name have such a strong effect upon you?
AVON: Because the Del Grant that I knew said that if we ever met again, ...he would kill me.
VILA: I've done it! I think I've done it.
(Vila has a remote control box which he is keying)
VILA: I've isolated the identification sensors. It's straight combination now. Watch this ...it should open like a dream.
(he keys the box and the safe door blows off)
BLAKE: More like a nightmare.
(Blake and Vila take cards from the safe)
BLAKE: They're all in code.
VILA: So are these.
AVON: Give me a little time, I can decode it.
BLAKE: Time is what we don't have. (into bracelet) Liberator, this is Blake, do you read me?
CALLY: (on communicator) We hear you.
BLAKE: Stand by to teleport, Vila's coming up. (to Vila) I want all that stuff run through Orac, I want the cipher broken, and a full read-out.
VILA: Right.
BLAKE: Ready?
VILA: Yes.
BLAKE: (into bracelet) Take him up.

[Teleport room]

CALLY: What's happening down there?
VILA: I'll tell you later, no time now.
JENNA: Well, what's all the rush?
VILA: There's a bomb timed to detonate in under half an hour. We don't even know where it is. Give me a linkup with Orac.

[Federation control room]

AVON: We have now used up more than half the time we have available.
BLAKE: Hm.
CAUDER: Blake, ...this is Grant.
GRANT: Good to meet you.
BLAKE: And you. We've been hearing about your strikes against the Federation.
GRANT: You've been hitting them pretty hard, too. You keep it up, you'll put us out of business.
BLAKE: That I wouldn't mind.
GRANT: If it meant breaking the Federation, nor would I.
AVON: Hello, Del. It's been a long time.
GRANT: I heard you were dead.
AVON: I heard the same about you. ...Wishful thinking perhaps.
GRANT: I'm glad the stories were wrong. I felt cheated. We have some things to settle.
BLAKE: You two can talk about the old days some other time. Right now we have a problem that's just a little more pressing.
CAUDER: What's the countdown?
BLAKE: Four-two-five.
CAUDER: It's getting closer.
BLAKE: Vila's using Liberator's computers to try and decipher the code. It could just give us the location.
AVON: I have found the circuit plans.
(Grant points to a point on the plan Avon is holding)
GRANT: Yes, that's the detonator. A nasty one, tricky to disarm.
AVON: You would have to take out the secondary circuit first, go in under here.
(indicating a point on the plan)
GRANT: Hm. Might work. Still, not easy.
(the tunnel door opens and Ralli falls into the room)
BLAKE: Cauder!
CAUDER: Ralli! ...Ralli, what happened?
RALLI: Oh. I don't know. Someone came up behind me and ...and just hit me.
BLAKE: (to Grant) That's an escape tunnel. Come on.
CAUDER: You'll be all right, Ralli.

[Escape tunnel]

(they find Selson's body)
BLAKE: He's not long dead.
GRANT: Get his papers. ...Where do you think this leads?
BLAKE: Probably comes out by the rocket silo.
GRANT: Hm. Must've been trying to get to the rocket when the roof caved in.
(Blake retrieves Selson's identity card and hands it to Grant)
BLAKE: Who is he?
GRANT: Selson, sergeant, security forces.
BLAKE: Hm. Have you searched all the Federation dead and wounded?
GRANT: Most of them.
BLAKE: Any senior officers?
GRANT: No.
BLAKE: He's got to be here somewhere.
GRANT: Who has?
BLAKE: I came down to question a man called Provine, a Space Major. I think that he can help us with the whereabouts of Federation's Central Control.
GRANT: There's no Space Major amongst the prisoners.
BLAKE: Let me try this on you. The complex is under attack, your men have already penetrated the outer defences. Provine decides to evacuate, he activates the device, starts down the escape tunnel towards the rocket silo. An explosion brings down the roof, and kills this one.
GRANT: Maybe the other one, too. He could be buried further in.
BLAKE: No, somebody survived. He waited his chance, went back to the room. When the girl came in and was alone...
GRANT: He moved out and hit her. It makes sense.
BLAKE: That was Provine!
GRANT: If you're right, he could be still wandering around here somewhere.
BLAKE: Yes, come on.

[Green decorated corridor]

(an Albian and Provine pass one another)

[Federation control room]

RALLI: I tell you I saw nothing. The only thing I remember is a man in uniform. I just got a glimpse as I blacked out.
BLAKE: He's got to be found.
CAUDER: I'll organise a search party.
BLAKE: (to Ralli) Come on, you need some rest.

[Red/green decorated corridor junction]

AVON: That last day, when it was all over, did they hurt her?
(Blake and Ralli go past in the background)
GRANT: They kept her under interrogation for nearly a week. They tried everything but she never broke. If she had spoken, told them what they wanted to know, she'd be alive now.
(Blake has come back to listen)
AVON: She should have told them.
GRANT: She held on because she believed in you. She didn't know that you'd run out and leave her to face it alone.
AVON: That was not the way it was.
GRANT: I know exactly how it was. She died under Federation torture, ...but it was you who killed her.
(Blake's communicator bleeps)
BLAKE: (into bracelet) Blake. Go ahead, Jenna.

[Teleport room]

JENNA: (into communicator) That's it, we got it, Blake, the exact position of the installation. I'm sending Vila down now.
CALLY: (into communicator) Blake, co-ordinates are one-eleven-seven-nine, intersect four forty-one.
JENNA: Stand by, Vila.

[Federation control room]

(Vila comes in from the corridor)
BLAKE: Coordinate one-eleven-seven-nine, intersect four-four-one.
CAUDER: Are you sure?
BLAKE: Orac doesn't make mistakes.
CAUDER: Then we're finished.
AVON: What do you mean?
CAUDER: Well, look at that.
(on a monitor screen is an arctic waste)
CAUDER: It's the polar cap, right in the centre of the ice zone.
BLAKE: Then we'll have to get to it.
CAUDER: But it's four thousand miles away. It can't be done.
AVON: It can if we use the teleport.
BLAKE: We can teleport right down to the location.
AVON: We'll need special equipment, thermal clothing.
BLAKE: We'll do it.
(Blake is about to operate his communicator)
AVON: Wait. Disarming a device is not your field. You finish what we came here for. Find Provine.
GRANT: (to Avon) I'll come with you.
AVON: No.
GRANT: I can help.
BLAKE: Look, I don't know exactly what it is between you, but there's enough danger without letting personal grudges interfere.
GRANT: That's something we can settle in our own time. Cauder, what matters now is that I can give this man backup. I've worked with timing devices. I know their mechanisms.
BLAKE: All right, it's your decision, Avon. Do you want him?
AVON: Give him a bracelet.
BLAKE: Vila.
(he indicates for Vila to get Grant a bracelet)
BLAKE: (to Avon) Just one thing, if that countdown goes below fifty and the device is still primed you will be teleported out. Vila and I will do the same.
AVON: Understood.
BLAKE: (into bracelet) Jenna, Cally, prepare thermal equipment. Stand by to teleport, Avon's coming up. (to Grant) One more thing, if anything happens to Avon, I will come looking for you.
(Grant puts on the bracelet)
BLAKE: Ready?
AVON: (into bracelet) Jenna, take us out of here.

[Teleport room]

JENNA: Is everything all right?
AVON: Not exactly. I'll tell you about it some other time. This is Del Grant, this is Jenna.
(Cally comes in with two thermal suits)
AVON: Cally, get me those co-ordinates. (to Grant) Put on one of those, you're going to need it. Jenna, I need some high-temperature lances.

[Escape tunnel]

CAUDER: Any luck?
BLAKE: He's alive. I know it. He's here somewhere.
CAUDER: If he is, my men will find him.
BLAKE: It's a very large area to search.
CAUDER: Yes. What would he do? Where would he go?

[Green decorated corridor]

VETNOR: Where are you going, soldier?
PROVINE: Circuit maintenance, sir.
VETNOR: Has this area been checked?
PROVINE: I've been right through it, sir. Nothing.
VETNOR: All right, ...come with me, we're searching the next level.
PROVINE: Right sir.

[Teleport room]

AVON: You adjust the temperature with this. (pointing to a control on the suit) You all set?
GRANT: Well, er...
(he looks at his empty gun holster. Avon gets him one which he hands him reluctantly)

[Arctic waste with a door visible in an ice cliff]

[Solium device bunker]

AVON: All right?
GRANT: Yeah.
AVON: Look for the lights.
GRANT: Here they are.
AVON: Good. ..Heaters.
GRANT: I see them. .
AVON: That's better. Now all we have to do is find the device.
GRANT: Right.
GRANT: There's nothing here.
AVON: Well, keep looking. ...Grant.
GRANT: Yeah?
AVON: There's a relay cable here. I'm going to follow it. ...The cable goes down under here so it must be under this section.
(they lift a grid and slide back a pair of access panels. Avon touches the surface inside)
AVON: Solid ice. Get the axe.
(after several attempts Avon stops hacking at the ice)
AVON: It's no good, we're not going to get into it this way.
GRANT: If we stand here talking, we certainly won't.
AVON: Get a space heater started. I'll put a lance into it.
GRANT: There's mercury in that detonator. You burn your way in, you could trigger it.
AVON: I know, but we don't have time to wait for it to thaw. Get started.
(ice stalactites are beginning to melt)

[Federation control room]

BLAKE: The rocket. That's the key to it.
CAUDER: Yes. I have men posted at the silo.
BLAKE: He may try and get in some other way. Through the launch doors, perhaps. I think I'll take a look.
CAUDER: Well, you better take somebody with you. There might be Federation guards on the loose. Ralli, find somebody.
RALLI: Right.
BLAKE: (into bracelet) Blake. Any news from Avon?
JENNA: (on communicator) They're down safely, that's all we've heard.
BLAKE: Call me if they come through with anything.
JENNA: Confirmed.
RALLI: Whenever you're ready.
BLAKE: Thank you. Cauder, if there's still no news from Avon when that countdown goes below fifty, I'm pulling out.
CAUDER: I understand. To stay with us would be a stupid gesture.
BLAKE: I can take some of you off with me.
CAUDER: No, not for me. I'll stay here till the end. Ralli can go if she likes.
RALLI: No, I'll stay.
BLAKE: All right, think about it. There's still time.
(Blake taps the Albian on guard outside the door on the shoulder and gestures that the guard should accompany him)

[Solium device bunker]

(Avon and Grant are wearing visors. Avon is applying the lance to the ice. The lance suddenly breaks through causing Avon to stumble)
GRANT: Careful, you'll trigger it.
(Avon applies the lance again. The stalactites are continuing to melt)
AVON: Done it. ...Get that table under the light.
(having done that Grant moves the chains from a lifting tackle out of the way. There's a rumbling noise. Debris is falling from the roof)
AVON: What's happening?
GRANT: The main roof beam's cracked ...resting on the ice. If it melts any more, it'll cave in.
AVON: Give me a hand.
(they lift the device onto the table. The countdown shows 202, 201, 200)
GRANT: Well, while it's ticking we're all right.
AVON: We're going to have to take out the relays to get at the activator. Get the cutters.
(the flow of melting ice from the roof is increasing)
AVON: Which one is it first? Left, right, or centre?
GRANT: Centre first.
AVON: Cutters. ...Which next?
GRANT: Right next. No, no, wait! I'm opposite you now. Left is the next in sequence. Your left.
AVON: You don't get another guess.
GRANT: Left. ...Next bit's straightforward. Do you want me to do it?
(there is more rumbling)
AVON: Go ahead.
GRANT: Hadn't we better turn the heaters off?
AVON: It depends which you prefer, being crushed or frozen to death?

[Federation control room]

RALLI: These are some more Federation personnel files. Any use to you?
VILA: Yes, I'll check them. ...No. ...No. ...No.
RALLI: That's Provine! That's his service record. ...That's the man I got to go with Blake!
VILA: Which way did they go?
RALLI: The rocket silo.
VILA: I've forgotten how to get there!
RALLI: The junctions of corridor eleven A, fifty-one B.
VILA: Eleven A, fifty-one B.

[Red/green decorated corridor junction]

VILA: Five A, eleven-one B...

[Green decorated corridor]

(Blake with Provine behind him are walking along)

[Solium device bunker]

GRANT: It's getting cold again.
AVON: You turned the heaters off.
(Avon removes a cover. Grant withdraws a canister)
AVON: Don't let it tilt, keep it level.
(Avon steadies it)
GRANT: I must be getting old.
AVON: Waste any more time and you won't get any older. Give me the extractor, ...now!
GRANT: There's one thing I never understood. Why did you leave her alone?
AVON: I had arranged to buy some exit visas, but I had to go right across the city to collect them. It was safer for Anna to stay out of sight. ...Separator.
GRANT: What happened then?
AVON: There were patrols out everywhere looking for us. I was late at the rendezvous, and then the man from whom I was buying the visas ...increased the price. He wanted ten times what we had agreed. He said he could get even more if he turned me in and collected the Federation reward.
GRANT: You should have killed him.
AVON: I did. ...Link clamp.
GRANT: So you got the visas. Why didn't you go back for her?
AVON: Killing the dealer wasn't quite so straightforward. He was expecting something and fired first. I started back but I was losing a lot of blood. Somewhere along the way I passed out. I was lucky. Some people found me and got me under cover.
GRANT: You could have got a message to her, told her to get out.
AVON: I was unconscious for more than thirty hours. ...I need to hold this flap back. Get your hand in here. ...That's good. You can get at the main now.
GRANT: You used the visa and got out of the city. You left her there.
AVON: That's right. But that was a week later. Anna was already dead.
GRANT: You're lying. You left the city the same day, before the Federation found Anna. You could have got her out.
AVON: No. She came looking for me, the patrols found her. It was only after we got word that she was dead that I left.
GRANT: You expect me to believe that?
AVON: Not particularly, but it happens to be the truth. If there had ever been a time when I could have given my own life to save her, I would have done it. The only grain of consolation that I have is that Anna knew that.
GRANT: She died because of you, that's all that matters. There's nothing changed between us.
AVON: I didn't really expect that it would be. ...That's the primary isolated. My fingers are cramping.
(the countdown shows 150, 149,148, 147, 146)
GRANT: Did you see the read-out?
AVON: I did.
GRANT: We're running it fine. There's a long way to go. (looks over at Avon) I said 'There's a long way to go'.
AVON: I heard.

[Green decorated corridor]

(Vila is lost)

[Red decorated corridor]

BLAKE: That's one of the men Cauder sent to guard the rocket silo. ...Now where is the other one?

[Rocket silo]

(Blake finds Arrian's stripped body behind the rocket. When he turns Provine shoots at him. He dodges behind the rocket. Provine looks behind the rocket, can't see Blake and goes out into the corridor. As he returns through the doorway, Blake grabs his gun and they struggle)

[Red decorated corridor]

(Vila hears a gunshot inside the silo. He stops as Provine backs out and collapses)
VILA: Blake! ...That's Provine. We found his picture on his service record.
BLAKE: He's dying. ...Provine! Provine! The computer complex, Control, where have the Federation moved it to?
PROVINE: Go to hell.
BLAKE: You may still have a chance if I can get you to our surgical unit. Now where is Control, Provine?
PROVINE: Star One. ...It's called Star One now. ...Docholli. ...Cybersurgeon! ...Only Docholli knows.
BLAKE: Where is Docholli? Where is Docholli?! ...See you in hell.

[Solium device bunker]

(Grant is gingerly carrying an assembly of three vertical tubes on a round base)
GRANT: Sixty-three. Can we do it?
AVON: It's still possible.
GRANT: Blake said he'd pull us out at fifty. We won't do it in that time.
AVON: Are you willing to chance it?
GRANT: That's what these people are paying me for.
AVON: Then give me your bracelet.
(Grant and Avon remove their bracelets)
AVON: Now he can't pull us out. ...Can he? ...Right.
GRANT: This isn't familiar to me.
AVON: It's a new mark, but the principle is the same. There are three detonators, each activated by a plunger. If we enlarge these holes and then insert a rod, we can arrest the downward travel of each plunger.
GRANT: A laser lance would be faster.
(there is a growing sound of crashing ice)
AVON: It's too risky on this kind of material.
(Avon enlarges the pair of holes in one of the tubes below the detonator with an electric drill)
AVON: I'm through. Give me a rod.
(he inserts the rod through the pair of holes in the tube)
GRANT: Will it be strong enough to hold it?
AVON: It'll do. All right, release the trigger.
GRANT: Ready?
AVON: Let it go.
GRANT: One down, two to go.

[Federation control room]

(Blake and Vila come in)
CAUDER: Blake!
BLAKE: What's the countdown?
CAUDER: Fifty-three.
BLAKE: (into communicator) Liberator, this is Blake. Do you read me?
JENNA: (on communicator) We hear you.
BLAKE: Any news from Avon?

[Federation control room]

JENNA: (into communicator) There's been no word at all.
BLAKE: (on communicator) All right. Teleport them up. We just dropped under the safety margin I gave him.
JENNA: We can't.
BLAKE: What do you mean?
JENNA: We can't make teleport contact.

[Federation control room]

BLAKE: They must have taken their bracelets off. (into bracelet) All right, remain on standby. We'll stay down here a little longer.

[Solium device bunker]

(water from melting ice is falling like rain. Grant shelters under a metal sheet. Avon inserts a rod into the second tube and joins Grant)
AVON: Two down, only one to go.
GRANT: What's the countdown?
AVON: Forty-one. I've left it for you. Look out!
(more ice and a beam from the ceiling come down. Grant grabs the detonator assembly and is then trapped as more beams come down)
AVON: Grant!

[Federation control room]

VILA: Thirty-nine, thirty-eight, thirty-seven ...Blake.
CAUDER: Blake. Go! Leave us!
VILA: Blake!
(Blake stops Vila using his bracelet)

[Solium device bunker]

(Avon is using the lifting tackle on the beam trapping Grant. The beam starts to lift)
AVON: You all right?
GRANT: It's no use, Avon. You don't have the time.
AVON: Hell, it's jammed.
GRANT: Face it, Avon, we've lost the game. Find your bracelet and tell them to teleport you out.
AVON: We're not done yet. I think I can still get at it. I'm going to have to crawl in over you.
GRANT: I've told you haven't got time, get out!
(Avon picks up the electric drill)

[Teleport room]

(Cally is tapping impatiently with one hand)
JENNA: Cally, stop that, will you, please?
CALLY: I'm sorry.

[Solium device bunker]

(Avon crawls under the beam to the detonator assembly)
GRANT: What's the countdown?
AVON: Twenty-five.
GRANT: It's no use, Avon. It was a good try. Get out. You haven't got time. Nobody's going to blame you.
(Avon starts to enlarge the third pair of holes)
GRANT: If the positions were reversed, if it were you under this beam, I might have left you, ...the way things are between us. Why are you helping me?
(the drilling continues)
GRANT: There's one thing we've forgotten.
AVON: What?
GRANT: The last of the rods. I was holding it when the roof collapsed.
(the countdown shows 12, 11. Avon sees the rod and frees it from where it has become embedded. The countdown shows 7, 6. Avon slowly inserts the rod. The countdown shows 4, 3, 2, 1. The last detonator drops onto the rod)
GRANT: You did it.
AVON: Yes, I did, didn't I?
GRANT: Why did you help me?
AVON: Perhaps because Anna ...was your sister.

[Liberator in space]

[Teleport room]

GRANT: Goodbye, Jenna.
JENNA: Goodbye.
GRANT: Goodbye Cally. Goodbye Vila. (to the three of them) And thank you.
VILA: Any time.
GRANT: I'll remember that.
VILA: Oh, will you?
BLAKE: All right, Jenna, take us on manual. Get us out of here.
JENNA: Right.
(Jenna, Vila and Cally leave)
BLAKE: Avon. (to Grant) You're welcome to come with us if you want to.
GRANT: Thanks, but no. They still need me down on Albian. Huh, besides, I've got a pretty hefty fee to collect.
BLAKE: You've earned it. ...Ready?
GRANT: Yeah.
(after a short pause Avon shakes the hand Grant has proffered)
BLAKE: Good luck.

[Liberator leaving orbit]

[Teleport room]

BLAKE: Are you going to tell me about Anna?
AVON: You wouldn't understand.
BLAKE: Wouldn't I?
AVON: I loved her.

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