Death-Watch
Original Airdate: March 24, 1980

[Teal Star in flight]

CONTROLLER [OC]: Teal Star, Teal Star. This is Teal Control calling United Planets passenger liner Teal Star. Do you copy?
COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER [OC]: Teal Control, Teal Control, this is passenger liner Teal Star, we do copy, go ahead.

[Observation lounge]

CONTROLLER [OC]: Teal Star, this is Teal Control. We have a message for one of your passengers, priority code nine. Please instruct your computer to receive and decode. I repeat, priority code nine. Confirm please.
COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER [OC]: Teal Control, this is Teal Star, confirm priority code nine.

[Teal Star in flight]

COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER [OC]: Computer shows ready, green on all boards, go ahead.
CONTROLLER [OC]: Teal Star, Teal Control. Message is running.
COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER: ...Teal Control, message received and decoding. Is that the lot?
CONTROLLER [OC]: That's the lot. Many thanks Teal Star, and good luck. Teal Control out.

[Observation lounge]

TANNOY: The first-class dining salons on levels one through five are now open. Dinner is now being served in the first-class passenger levels one through five.
KARLA: Excuse me? I'm sorry it's very rude of me but aren't you Deeta Tarrant?
DEETA: Yes, I am.
KARLA: Yes, I thought you were. I've seen you on the viscasts of course ...but you look different somehow you're taller than I expected.
DEETA: I usually stand in a hole.
KARLA: Oh, forgive me I didn't mean to be rude. You must think I'm an awful fool.
DEETA: Of course not.
KARLA: Well, ...it was very nice meeting you.
(as she passes him she stumbles and he catches her)
KARLA: Stupid shoes. Why is fashion never practical?
(suddenly Deeta spins round, whips out a gun and shoots an assassin down from the viewing gallery. He then points the gun at her)
DEETA: Tell me.
KARLA: I had nothing to do with that! ...You surely can't think I was involved.
DEETA: Just a coincidence!
KARLA: ...Doesn't seem very likely does it. ...How did you know?
DEETA: The stumble. A deliberate fall can look accidental, but it never feels right. Balance is instinctive.
KARLA: Is he dead?
DEETA: Yes. How many more are there?
KARLA: Six hundred and seventy-two. ...You don't really expect a serious answer to that question, do you?
DEETA: Eventually. What's your name?
KARLA: Karla.
DEETA: Well, Karla, ...your partner here has used up all the available luck. There's no easy way out for you.
(he starts to search the body)
KARLA: You really think of me as a major threat, don't you?
DEETA: Why did you break the rules? You must know the penalties.
KARLA: I can see you don't rate me as a fighter, ...but do I strike you as a fool as well?
DEETA: So you have an answer for the Summons to Justification. ...Like what? Surely not a blood feud? (rises to face her) I can't have killed someone who's close kin to both of you. Particularly not as your friend here is a citizen of the Vandor Confederacy, as I assume you are.
(he drops an identification card at her feet)
KARLA: There will be no Summons to Justification. As First Champion of the United Planets of Teal you're a valid target ...until you reach the combat grounds.
DEETA: In time of war.
KARLA: Exactly. A formal declaration was delivered to your council an hour ago.
TANNOY: Will passenger Deeta Tarrant go to the flight deck, please. Passenger Deeta Tarrant to the flight deck, please.
KARLA: And that I imagine will be your notification and call to combat. You'll be transferred to a military cruiser within the hour. ...A pity. ...We had hoped you would not be their Champion. ...Our man is good, ...but you might just be better.
(as she turns away she pulls a gun and begins to turn back)
DEETA: Don't do it!
(he whips out his gun again and shoots her)
TANNOY: Will Deeta Tarrant report immediately to the flight deck, please. Deeta Tarrant to the flight deck, please.

[Teal Star approaching Teal]

[Liberator turning in space]

[Flight deck]

DAYNA: Come on, Tarrant, I could've worked it out on my fingers by now. Move any faster, you'll break into a standstill.
TARRANT: The best strategy option is timed at fifty hours.
AVON: Useless.
TARRANT: Well, there's only one strike point which covers all escape vectors.
AVON: They'll be long gone before we get anywhere near it.
TARRANT: Yes, I'm afraid they will.
DAYNA: The electronic warriors strike again. That'll be four of Servalan's ore ships we've let through without a fight.
AVON: To fight them we have to catch them.
DAYNA: To catch them we have to chase them, or hadn't that occurred to you?
TARRANT: Yes, well, it's a little more sophisticated than fighting hairy primitives with a bow and arrow, Dayna.
(Vila comes in carrying Orac)
DAYNA: The machines are more sophisticated, Tarrant, that's all, but the principle isn't, and the people certainly aren't.
(Avon looks at Vila)
AVON: You know, she could be right.
VILA: They're smiling, Orac.
ORAC: I fail to see the relevance of that observation.
VILA: Shouldn't they be tired and getting on each other's nerves?
ORAC: There is a progressive reduction in their conscious attention span and a growing imbalance in the dynamic structure of the group.
VILA: Is that yes or no?
ORAC: It is yes. As a result of this, the efficiency rating of the ship as a complete unit is dropping by one point zero-two percent per work period. The error quotient bears a delayed inverse relation...
(Vila unplugs the activator)
VILA: They don't write poetry like that anymore. What this electronic pain is trying to say is...
TARRANT: ...is that unless we get a break, there's going to be a fatal foul-up.
VILA: Right.
AVON: Where do you suggest we go, Vila, for this holiday that we all need so badly?
VILA: Me? Well, I hadn't really given it any thought.
AVON: Oh, I see. You got all that information from Orac out of a sense of duty?
TARRANT: Dedication? Selfless devotion to the welfare of his comrades.
VILA: What's so strange about that?
DAYNA: Where's the party, Vila?
TARRANT: Oh, come on, Vila. Your sales pitch is a failure. Why not just tell us what it is you want to do?
VILA: After Orac had told me about the dangerous situation that was developing...
TARRANT: Yes?
VILA: ...I did do some checking...
TARRANT: Yes?
VILA: ...and one of the things I discovered was that the United Planets of Teal and the Vandor Confederacy are at war!
DAYNA: Oh, what an interesting piece of news, Vila. There's nothing like someone else's war to take your mind off your own.
TARRANT: Are you sure about this?
VILA: Orac picked it up during a routine communication sweep.
AVON: When was the declaration?
VILA: A few hours ago. We've plenty of time to get to the combat grounds.
TARRANT: Zen. (to Avon) Yes?
AVON: Why not?
(Cally comes in)
TARRANT: Zen, I want a course for the planet designated as the combat grounds by the Teal-Vandor Convention.
ZEN: Confirmed.
CALLY: Have I missed something?
DAYNA: I think we both have.
(Avon plugs the activator back in)
AVON: Orac, I want you to monitor all transmissions from the Teal-Vandor combat grounds and relay any public viscasts to the main screen.
ORAC: Am I to understand that you wish me to act as a viscast relay?
AVON: That is what you are to understand.
DAYNA: Is someone going to tell us what we're to understand?
CALLY: Yes, what exactly is going on?
VILA: You mean you've never heard of the Teal-Vandor Convention?
ZEN: Course is laid in. Acceptance confirmation is now required.
TARRANT: Accepted. Run course program, speed standard by four.

[Liberator turning in space]

CALLY [OC]: If someone doesn't tell Dayna and me what all this is about...
DAYNA [OC]: ...we're going to get very irritated!
VILA [OC]: Break out the booze, girls. It's fiesta time. ...Now, Cally, Dayna, let's not be violent. You know how I hate to see a man cry, especially when it's me.

[Flight deck]

(the table is covered with bottles of drink and various snacks)
DAYNA: And that's all it is? A fight to the death between two champions, winner takes all.
AVON: That's putting it rather crudely.
CALLY: It's rather a crude idea.
TARRANT: Look, two men fight for the honour of independent planetary systems of maybe twenty million people each. It's hardly crude, Cally.
VILA: They don't just step up and beat hell out of each other with big wooden clubs, you know.
TARRANT: Or bows and arrows.
VILA: Or bows and arrows. There's er, ...rules and honour and chivalry and ...all that sort of thing.
CALLY: That makes all the difference, of course.
AVON: It does to us. Outsiders are welcomed as honoured guests and accorded the status of neutral observers. As long as we abide by the rules of the Convention, both sides will protect us.
TARRANT: From all comers, including the Federation.
VILA: Which means we can enjoy the festivities in complete confidence and relaxation. Drink anyone?
CALLY: What are these festivities Vila keeps drooling about?
DAYNA: They must be something special. (to Tarrant) I haven't seen you move that positively in weeks.
TARRANT: It'll be a big occasion.
AVON: A ritual war is bound to generate a great deal of excitement.
VILA: Back on Earth they used to say it was the most excitement you can have with your clothes on anywhere in the galaxy.
DAYNA: How very witty of them.
AVON: No, he's right. The Teal-Vandor Convention was famous on Earth. The ultimate excitement.
CALLY: The 'ultimate excitement': watching two men kill each other.
AVON: Yes. No. On reflection, that would seem to have a somewhat limited appeal ...as ultimate excitements go.
VILA: Well, there's obviously more to it than that. I mean, wine, women ...and song.
CALLY: That would seem to have an even more limited appeal.
TARRANT: Oh, I don't know.
ORAC: I am now picking up a public viscast transmission.
AVON: Put it on the main screen.
ORAC: I must point out that this is a gross misuse and an absurd waste of my capabilities.
AVON: Put it on the main screen.
ORAC: I will do it only under protest.
AVON: You can do it any way you like, just so long as you put it on the main screen.
VILA: Are you sure you can't redesign him as something useful, like a drinks dispenser? ...Or an empty space. I think he'd look really good as an empty space.
(the viewscreen shows a rotating starfield followed by a rocky terrain with a snow covering, a turbulent seascape and a tropical shoreline with a city in the distance)
DARVID (OC]: ...'Space, the final frontier.' as it was once called. A weightless, freezing vacuum, here created artificially and maintained by the central computer as one of the hundreds of different environments offered by the combat grounds for the coming battle. In giant chambers, exact recreations like these you see are controlled by the combat computer. Environments from ...other planets, ...other cultures, ...other times. The computer will choose which of these environmental chambers will be used for the battle. This choice is what the combat grounds are all about. In the words of the Convention, 'Let no man say ...'This man chose the ground on which we die'.'...

[Combat ground entrance]

DARVID: ...The combatants will each enter the chamber through a door ...like this. Only the computer will know what awaits them on the other side. Their only clue ...will lie in this locker, which contains ...protective clothing and specialised weapons, ...should the environment behind that door require them. ...And I've just been told that the combatants are in fact now arriving at the spaceport, and we are going across to join the thousands of cheering spectators who are waiting to catch a glimpse of the two men on whose skill the outcome of this war depends.
DARVID: (into communicator) ...That all right?
DIRECTOR: (on communicator) Fine.
DARVID: Oh, that good, eh?
DIRECTOR: Well, what do you want me to say? It was your usual delicate mixture of enthusiasm and dignified cliché.
DARVID: I love you too. What's next?
DIRECTOR: You mean you've forgotten? I don't know why we bothered to rehearse.
DARVID: From the way you've been juggling those remotes I didn't think you had.
DIRECTOR: If the performer won't move then the camera must.
DARVID: I thought it might confuse you if I moved.
DIRECTOR: Oh, you've been thinking! Another first.
(he is interrupted by a communication in the background)
DIRECTOR: What? What d'you mean you've missed them? ...Oh, wonderful! Congratulations! ...Crowd scenes we can get anywhere, you idiot! ...Darvid?
DARVID: Yes?
DIRECTOR: We missed them at the spaceport.
DARVID: It happens.
DIRECTOR: Only to me! They didn't even wave to the crowd. Their seconds bundled them straight into two VIP shuttles and off.
DARVID: We'll get some good shots of them when they present their credentials to the Arbiters.
DIRECTOR: Oh, remembered finally have we? Listen, our heroes should arrive in about thirty minutes. You want to wander down and place the remotes for me?
DARVID: 'Our heroes'? I suppose you'd change places with them, would you? Step through one of those doors without any idea of what's in there. Without even knowing whether your opponent's been let in first and is all set up and waiting. You'd fancy that would you?
DIRECTOR: Not a lot. But then I'm not a professional killer.
DARVID: That's not what the critics say.
DIRECTOR: ...You want to position those remotes for me, Darvid?
DARVID: All right, give me voice control.
DIRECTOR: You've got it.
DARVID: Follow me, men. We have one hero and one dead man to meet, ...and as yet no way to tell ...which ...is which.
(three floating cameras follow him)

[Sub-surface shuttle]

MAX: How do you feel?
DEETA: Fine, Max, fine, for the fourth time.
MAX: I'm sorry. Right now you are our most important man. I just want to be sure there's nothing bothering you.
DEETA: You're more nervous than I.
MAX: Are you nervous?
DEETA: These sub-surface shuttles are a bit claustrophobic, aren't they?
MAX: I didn't know you suffered from claustrophobia.
DEETA: I don't, Max.
MAX: ...For a member of the diplomatic corps, I'm not being very diplomatic, am I?
DEETA: Have you found out any more about their man?
MAX: Not really. He doesn't seem to have a history. He just turned up about the time the border problem was developing. He killed Rakov in a private challenge and was automatically proclaimed First Champion of the Vandor Confederacy.
DEETA: Any fights since then?
MAX: Rakov's son tried to take him. Hm. Strictly no contest.
DEETA: What do you think?
MAX: It's all been according to the rules.
DEETA: I don't know, Max. Smells like a set-up. Those two who tried to kill me on the Teal Star. They knew in advance the precise time that Vandor declared war.
MAX: We lodged a protest, but the Arbiters ruled there was no technical violation.
DEETA: Any question about them?
MAX: You should know better than to ask that.
DEETA: I don't have to be diplomatic, Max. ...Well?
MAX: Their Arbiter is a High Council member, so is ours. They're both beyond reproach.
DEETA: And the neutral?
MAX: Nearly there. You'll be able to judge for yourself in a few minutes.
DEETA: Max, in a few hours a man is going to try and kill me. Now, thanks to the skill of the diplomatic corps I know nothing about him.
MAX: Oh, that's most unfair.
DEETA: Unfair? ...I'm not concerned with fairness or diplomacy or good manners. I'm only concerned that my opponent abides by the rules of the Convention, and my only guarantee of that lies with the Arbiters. Now I want to know everything you know about the neutral Arbiter.

[Liberator in flight]

[Flight deck]

(the viscast is still on the viewscreen)
VILA [OC]: Servalan! I don't believe it! Servalan is supposed to make sure everyone sticks to the rules?
DARVID [OC]: And so the three Arbiters await the imminent arrival of the Champions ...who will identify themselves, ...and make formal acceptance of the Rules of the Convention. This solemn ceremony...
AVON: All this breathless solemnity is beginning to irritate me.
DARVID [VO]: ...lies at the very heart of our system of representative war.
AVON: Give us vision only, Orac.
VILA: I was enjoying that.
TARRANT: Servalan's a logical choice for them if you think about it. After all, she is President of an empire which borders on both systems.
AVON: ...She is indeed.
CALLY: She is not exactly an ideal candidate, though.
VILA: Her idea of chivalry is never to shoot a blind man in the back.
DAYNA: That's very true, Vila.
VILA: Wonderful. And for my next trick, I shall swallow my other foot. I completely forgot about your father.
DAYNA: I expect Servalan has, too.
VILA: I'm sorry, Dayna.
DAYNA: One of these days it will be my pleasure to remind her.
TARRANT: Yes, but not one of these days! Our prospective hosts get very sweaty about rules violations.
AVON: The rule is no hostile act towards anyone. We are strictly neutral observers. Zen, put the battle and strategy computers on line. Direct visual readout to this position.
ZEN: Confirmed.
TARRANT: Battle computers?
AVON: Just something I want to check.
VILA: This looks like one of the Champions. Let's hear it for the man. ...Sound, Orac, give us the sound.
DEETA: (on viewscreen) ...and defend the United Planets of Teal with my blood, for we are in the right.
VILA: I know him, don't I?
SERVALAN: (on viewscreen) Will you abide by the Convention?
DEETA: I will.
SERVALAN: You are welcome here.
VILA: I'm sure I know him.
TARRANT: I doubt that. He left Earth a long time ago.
AVON: Who is he?
TARRANT: His name is Deeta. ...He's my brother.

[Arbiters' room]

(Servalan sits between the other two Arbiters. There are two revolvers on the table in front of her)
SERVALAN: The ancient weapons of combat. Use your choice with honour.
(Deeta picks up both revolvers and looks at them)
SERVALAN: They've already been checked. ...Don't you trust us? ...I assure you they're exactly the same.
DEETA: No two guns are ever exactly the same.
SERVALAN: You have a brother, do you not?
DEETA: I left Earth a long time ago.
SERVALAN: He left more recently. Following your example, perhaps.
DEETA: I hope not.
(he puts the revolvers back on the table)
DEETA: With your permission, madam, I have preparations to make.
SERVALAN: By all means.
(he has selected on of the revolvers and as he goes to leave he is confronted by Vinni who blocks his way three times)
VINNI: You're not good enough to get past me, Tarrant.
DEETA: You're going to look pretty silly flat on your back with a face full of footprints.
VINNI: Ha. My name is Vinni. I've come to kill you.
(he moves aside)
VINNI: You're a dead man, Tarrant.
DEETA: They're the worst kind.

[Deeta's room]

(Max is working on a handheld device)
DEETA: I've just met their man. ...I don't like him.
(he sits in a chair with a helmet device over him. There is a control panel to the right)
MAX: Did you expect to?
DEETA: I don't mean personally. I mean there's something strange about him, ...something wrong.
MAX: He's a professional killer. That's not exactly the way a normal person would...
DEETA: Have you ever thought you might be in the wrong business, Max?
MAX: I'm not usually this inept.
DEETA: Professional killers make you nervous.
MAX: Maybe.
DEETA: Yes, well non-professional killers make me nervous. And Vinni is not a professional. So what the hell is he, Max?
MAX: A dead man, obviously. Coming up against a top professional like you, I mean. He has no chance, right?
DEETA: Rakov was a top professional.
MAX: You're better than Rakov.
DEETA: Yes, well, so is he.
(he starts adjusting controls on the panel)
DEETA: Right, I'm ready to charge up the sensors.
(Max consults the handheld device)
MAX: I've a couple of messages for you here. The viscast people would like to record an interview...
DEETA: No. They can use archive material for the obituary.
MAX: Do you want me to tell them that?
DEETA: Just tell them 'No'.
MAX: Del Tarrant, claims to be your brother. His ship is due in about thirty minutes, wants to see you.
DEETA: No. Afterwards, maybe. Is that it?
MAX: That's it.
DEETA: Right. Time to charge up the sensor net.
(he lowers the helmet device)
MAX: Something wrong?
DEETA: It's just the thought of all that stuff they put inside my head. ...Frightens the hell out of me.
MAX: It's quite safe, Deeta.
(there is an increasing humming sound. Deeta's eyes sparkle white for a few seconds)
MAX: All right?
DEETA: Fine.
(he raises the helmet device and picks up a green disc and gives it to Max)
DEETA: Right, let's see if it still works.
(Max sticks the disc on his forehead)
DEETA: Ready?
(Max closes his eyes and the disc sparkles white)
DEETA [OC]: What do you see?
MAX: A gun.
(Deeta is looking at the revolver which he is holding)
DEETA: How does it feel?
MAX [OC]: Natural, almost ...part of me.
(Deeta points the revolver at Max)
DEETA: And now?
MAX: I am pointing the gun at a man sitting in a chair. Is that really how I look?
(Deeta closes his eyes)
DEETA: And now?
MAX: Nothing. But I feel ...a little ...anger, a little ...sadness, some small fear.
(Deeta opens his eyes)
DEETA: Welcome to my head.
(Max opens his eyes)
MAX: It works.
DEETA: So you and millions of other taxpaying citizens can kill or die almost for real. Just pick a champion, join the fun.
MAX: You resent this part of it, don't you?
DEETA: You only have to close your eyes to find out.
(Max removes the disc from his forehead)
DEETA: Maybe you are in the right business after all, Max.
MAX: You going to get some rest now?
DEETA: Well, I'm certainly going to try.
MAX: I'll see you before it starts.
DEETA: Oh, don't you want to eavesdrop on a dream or two?
MAX: No thanks, Deeta.
DEETA: Very sensible, Max. ...Very sensible.

[Liberator in orbit of Teal]

[Flight deck]

ZEN: Orbit is now established. All systems are functioning normally. Status is firm.
TARRANT: Thank you, Zen.
DARVID: (on viewscreen) And so everything is ready. The formalities are complete. The Champions are prepared. The Arbiters have activated the combat computer which will control the conditions of battle. Only the computer knows when it will begin ...and where.
(the viewscreen fades and the combat computer types :-
COMBAT COMPUTER: READY
COMMAND SEQUENCE: RUNNING
INSTRUCTIONS: COMMENCE
1. WAIT)
VILA: Come on, then. Let's go mingle with the joyous multitude.
AVON: (to Tarrant) Are you going to see this diplomat?
TARRANT: Why not?
DAYNA: Do you want us to wait?
TARRANT: No. I'll find you.
VILA: Don't forget Orac.
CALLY: No need. I'll operate the teleport.
DAYNA: Aren't you coming with us?
CALLY: I don't think so.
VILA: But we've come to enjoy ourselves, Cally.
CALLY: I know.
VILA: Well, how can you enjoy yourself staying here?
CALLY: Well, maybe it's got something to do with the fact that you won't be.
VILA: Oh, thank you!
(on the viewscreen the 1. WAIT changes to :-
1. COMBAT CHAMBER SELECTED
2. WAIT)

[Max's room]

(Tarrant teleports in)
TARRANT: Are you Max?
MAX: Oh. ...Oh, you startled me.
TARRANT: I'm Del Tarrant.
MAX: I can see you're Deeta's brother.
TARRANT: How is Deeta?
MAX: He's resting at the moment. How long is it since you've seen him?
TARRANT: Oh, seven, maybe eight years.
MAX: I expect he's changed a bit.
TARRANT: I expect we both have. Why doesn't he want to see me?
MAX: Oh, he does, but ...afterwards.
TARRANT: There may not be an afterwards.
MAX: Oh, he stands a very good chance. He's been our First Champion for nearly four years. He's fought a lot of challenges. No one's come near to beating him.
TARRANT: Were all his fights like this?
MAX: Well, er, no, not exactly.
(he offers Tarrant a box of sweets)
TARRANT: No, thank you.
MAX: These combat grounds are only used for officially declared wars, and we haven't had one of those for twenty years.
TARRANT: So what brought this one on?
MAX: Border incursions, retaliation, escalation. Routine enough pattern.
TARRANT: Once every twenty years is routine?
MAX: Our border squabbles don't usually lead to war. Actually this one did take us a little by surprise. Our computers missed the trend completely.
TARRANT: What's at stake? What happens to you if Deeta loses?
MAX: The Convention will require us to surrender two-thirds of our fleet and three of our planets.
TARRANT: And you're willing to do that?
MAX: Well, of course, so are they. You see, Del, ...for us, this is not a game. We really are at war.

[Liberator in orbit of Teal]

[Flight deck]

VILA: (on communicator) Cally? Are you there, Cally?
CALLY: (into communicator) What is it, Vila?
VILA: Dayna and I are ready to come up.
CALLY: So soon?
VILA: There's nothing here. Everyone's gone home. Everything's closed.
CALLY: No joyous multitude?
VILA: No joyous anybody. I've seen more life in a prison blanket.
CALLY: What about Avon?
VILA: Gone to visit a sick friend.
CALLY: A sick friend?
VILA: That's what he said. And let's face it, any friend of Avon's got to be sick, right? Are you going to bring us up, Cally?
CALLY: Have a little patience, Vila.
VILA: What for? All that ever gets you is older.

[Arbiters' room]

SERVALAN: I am not in the habit of waiting for couriers.
(she turns to find Avon there)
AVON: Madam President.
SERVALAN: I see the Orac computer has broken our latest security code.
AVON: A useful gadget. Worth every penny you almost paid for it.
SERVALAN: Wasteful of you to let me know the code was broken, surely?
AVON: I thought you'd see me more readily if you thought I was part of the conspiracy.
SERVALAN: Conspiracy? Oh, Avon. I haven't gone and given myself away again, have I?
AVON: I've been doing a little strategic analysis.
SERVALAN [OC]: Bravo.
AVON: Somewhere along the line there is going to be a major violation of the Convention.
SERVALAN: Really? Well, I'm glad you warned me, because as Neutral Arbiter such violations are my concern.
AVON: The result will be total war between these two systems. Real war, not children's games like all this. ...You will let them fight it out for a little while and then your battle fleet will move in to mop up the remnants ...for their own good, of course, to prevent further bloodshed and destruction. The civilian populations may even welcome you.
SERVALAN: What form will this major violation take?
AVON: Do they know that your battle fleet is massed on their borders?
SERVALAN: Routine manoeuvres, and a small demonstration of concern for my personal safety, which both sides understand and accept.
AVON: Thank you.
SERVALAN: For what?
AVON: Answering my question.
SERVALAN: I have nothing to hide.
AVON: Is that why you answered?
SERVALAN: Naturally.
AVON: Oh, no, not 'naturally,' Madam President! You do not naturally answer a question from an enemy who has no natural right to ask it.
SERVALAN: But I don't think of you as an enemy, Avon. ...I think of you as a future friend.
(Avon pulls Servalan to him)
AVON: Your plan ...had better be fireproof, Servalan, or I'll see you burn with it.
(while he kisses her he activates the communicator in his bracelet behind her back)
AVON: (into bracelet) Cally?
CALLY: (on communicator) Yes, Avon?
AVON: I'm ready to come up now.
CALLY: Stand by.
(Servalan strokes a finger across Avon's lips)
SERVALAN: Threatening an Arbiter is a violation of the Convention, you know.
AVON: So report me.
SERVALAN: I'll overlook it this time.
(Avon teleports out)
SERVALAN: After all, ...it's not a major violation.
(she sits down and activates the viewscreen behind her. The 2. WAIT changes to :-
2. ARBITERS TAKE POSITION
AND INDICATE READINESS
3. WAIT
Servalan presses a button. The screen changes to :-
INDICATE READINESS
NEUTRAL ARBITER READY)

[Flight deck]

(Avon comes in)
DAYNA: How was your friend?
AVON: Sick as ever. Orac, I want you to tap into the records computer down there and get me all the rules relating to the Teal-Vandor Convention.
ORAC: It will take a few moments to identify the appropriate data store.
AVON: Then I want you to assimilate them and program one of your systems as an analogue of a hostile Arbiter.
ORAC: In what way, 'hostile'?
AVON: One who is expecting a violation.
ORAC: Do you wish me to continue relaying the viscast?
VILA: Yes, we do. Well, it's not exactly thrilling, but it's all there is.
DAYNA: And you came a long way to be thrilled, didn't you, Vila?
VILA: Damn right I did. And I'm going to be thrilled one way or another. ...Have a drink, Dayna.
DAYNA: Do you know your most attractive quality, Vila?
VILA: No. What?
DAYNA: Your subtlety.

[Max's room]

(they have the combat computer display on the viewscreen)
TARRANT: Right, I'll get back to my ship.
MAX: It'll start very soon now.
TARRANT: When it's over let me know. I'll come back.
MAX: Aren't you going to share it?
TARRANT: I'm sorry?
MAX: The sensor net. You don't know about it?
(a line is added to the display :-
TEAL ARBITER: READY)
MAX: Both men have had micro-sensors implanted in the brain. These are connected to a conductive mesh which is actually etched into the bone of the skull. When this mesh gets charged up it becomes a sort of transmitter.
TARRANT: Transmitting signals from the micro-sensors?
MAX: Right. The signals are boosted through the combat computer and are picked up by these receivers.
(he picks up a green disc and gives it to Tarrant)
MAX: You put it on your forehead. It's activated through the optic nerves. Close your eyes and it feeds the signal directly into the brain, open them and it cuts out.
TARRANT: How effective is it?
MAX: With that, you can see what Deeta sees and feel a lot of what he feels, physically and emotionally. These...
(he picks up a blue disc and gives it to Tarrant)
MAX: ...are a slightly different frequency.
TARRANT: Keyed to the other man?
MAX: You choose which one you want to go with.
TARRANT: How many people use these?
MAX: Oh, almost everyone in the two systems. ...It's a release that we all share. ...A catharsis. ...We all fight the war, but only one man actually dies.
TARRANT: My brother.
MAX: Or his opponent.
TARRANT: So that's the ultimate excitement. ...Murder without guilt, ...death without loss.
MAX: War ...without destruction.
(another line is added to the display:-
VANDOR ARBITER: READY)
TARRANT: I must go. Wish Deeta luck for me.
MAX: Yes.
(Max leaves)
TARRANT: (into bracelet) I'm ready to come up, Cally.
(he grabs a handful of each of the green and blue discs from boxes on a table)

[Deeta's room]

(on the viewscreen is the display changes to :-
CHAMPIONS GO TO
BATTLE CHAMBER
ENTRANCES
TEAL: BLACK
VANDOR: RED
INDICATE READINESS)
MAX: I was afraid I'd miss you.
DEETA: It's all right, Max. There's plenty of time.
MAX: How do you feel?
DEETA: Fine.
MAX: Oh, for the hundredth time. I'm sorry, I haven't been much help, have I?
DEETA: The Death-Watch is never easy, Max. You did well, I'm grateful to you.
MAX: We wish you luck.
DEETA: The people of Teal?
MAX: Your brother and I.
DEETA: Have the drinks set up, Max. We'll celebrate, eh, the three of us?
(Deeta leaves. Max puts a green disc on his forehead)

[Red combat ground entrance]

(Vinni opens the door to his locker on the left which is empty. He draws his gun and stands before the entrance on the right)

[Arbiters' room]

(another line has been added to the display:-
VANDOR CHAMPION: READY
The Vandor Arbiter affixes a blue disc and activates it by closing his eyes)

[Black combat ground entrance]

(Deeta opens the door to his locker on the right which is empty. He draws his gun, checks and re-holsters it and stands before the entrance on the left. Another line has been added to the display:-
TEAL CHAMPION: READY
The Teal Arbiter affixes a green disc and activates it by closing his eyes)

[Flight deck]

(the viewscreen is showing the same display. Tarrant and Vila each have an activated green disc on their foreheads. Dayna is holding a blue one)
DAYNA: I, I don't want to do this, Avon. I'll be fighting Tarrant's brother.
AVON: You will be judging the man who is fighting him.
DAYNA: But you can't be objective with something like this.
AVON: You don't have to be. It's your instinct as a fighter that we need.
CALLY: And Tarrant will be an instinctive judge of his brother's actions.
AVON: You're a natural fighter, Dayna. You will be an instinctive judge of the other man.
DAYNA: Well, even if one of them breaks the rules, what can we do about it?
AVON: That's what Orac is going to tell us.
(Dayna puts a blue disc on her forehead)

[Max's room]

(he waits with the green disc on his forehead activated)

[Arbiters' room]

(the display changes to:-
COMMENCE)

[Red combat ground entrance]

(the door opens and Vinni enters)

[Black combat ground entrance]

(Deeta waits)

[Combat ground]

(Vinni is in an abandoned industrial site. He moves around cautiously with his gun drawn)
VINNI: Tarrant! ...You get one free shot, Tarrant!
(he holsters his gun, runs into a building and climbs a ladder)

[Black combat ground entrance]

(Deeta clenches his fist)

[Flight deck]

(Tarrant clenches his fist)

[Black combat ground entrance]

(the door opens and Deeta enters)

[Combat ground]

(he is at a different part of the site. He also moves around cautiously with his gun drawn. He sees Vinni at a higher level and takes a pot shot. Vinni moves to another place and Deeta fires at him again. Vinni comes out and lets off two shots)

[Flight deck]

(Dayna and Tarrant are seeing what Vinni and Deeta are seeing. Deeta sees Vinni and fires at him)

[Combat ground]

(Deeta is sheltering in a doorway)
VINNI [OC]: Tarrant! ...Tarrant! ....We're wasting time, Tarrant. ...We could die of old age chasing each other round here.
DEETA: What do you suggest we do? Draw straws?
(Tarrant moves. Vinni is standing at a corner)
VINNI: We draw guns, Tarrant. ...Isn't that what you're best at? ...Only I'm better ...and I'm going to prove it. Holster your gun. I'll meet you out in the open, face to face. Fast man wins. ...What do you say?
(Deeta has come round behind Vinni as he holsters his gun)
VINNI: Well, have you got the stomach for it? ...What do you say, Tarrant?
(Deeta takes a bead on Vinni then holsters his gun)
DEETA: All right.
(Vinni spins round)
DEETA: Let's see if you're as fast with your gun ...as you are with your mouth.
(Vinni grins and leads the way into an open area. He turns to face Deeta, who has his hand on his holstered gun. Vinni holds up his empty hands)
VINNI: After you, Tarrant.
(Deeta starts to draw his gun. Vinni is so fast that Deeta's gun hasn't fully aimed. Deeta flies backwards)

[Max's room]

(Max's eyes open)

[Flight deck]

(Vila's eyes open)
VILA: No!
(he removes the disc)

[Combat ground]

(Deeta hits the ground. One hand clutches the wound in his chest. It then slips to the ground)

[Flight deck]

(Tarrant grimaces)

[Combat ground]

DEETA [OC]: Stupid. ...Stupid of me. ...He's fast. ...He's really fast, Del. ...Del, I'm sorry. ...I'm afraid the eavesdroppers have to listen after all. ...Didn't want a million people in my head when we met.
(Vinni approaches)
DEETA: [OC] ...Damn, it hurts. ...I never should have left you. ...I missed you, little brother.
(Vinni fires)

[Flight deck]

(Tarrant is sitting with his head right back)
DAYNA: Tarrant. ...Tarrant!
(she shakes him)
DAYNA: Tarrant! Tarrant!
(she tears the green disc off his forehead and his eyes open)
DAYNA: I'm sorry, Tarrant.
TARRANT: He should have killed him when he had the chance. ...Huh. Deeta never was very practical.

[Combat ground]

VINNI: I told you I was faster. ...Deeta Tarrant ...is dead! ...I claim victory for the Vandor Confederacy of Planets.

[Arbiters' room]

SERVALAN: Well, gentlemen, before we confirm this victory there are some checks I should like carried out, ...formalities only. But I fear scrupulous fairness is one of my small personal obsessions. I'm sure you'll bear with me.

[Flight deck]

AVON: Did they behave as you expected? Come on, we haven't got much time.
TARRANT: Deeta didn't break any rules. In fact, he kept an extra one of his own. A costly one.
AVON: You felt nothing abnormal in his behaviour?
TARRANT: Nothing.
DAYNA: I felt something. At least, I think I did.
AVON: Yes?
DAYNA: It's difficult to pin down. It's as though we were waiting.
VILA: Not from where I was standing. I couldn't understand how I missed him. And I couldn't believe how fast he pulled that gun.
CALLY: And yet watching them on the screen, I felt it was Deeta who had the real talent, ...the real instinct for it.
DAYNA: That's it. There was no instinct. No anticipation. I wai ...he waited for things to happen and then reacted to them. But when he did react it was so fast it was exhilarating. I began to feel the other man couldn't shoot me because I could move before any shot could reach me.
AVON: Well, Orac?
ORAC: It is my conclusion that the one called Vinni is not human, but is in fact a highly sophisticated android exquisitely programmed as a gunfighter.
TARRANT: Deeta was fighting a machine?
AVON: And when that is revealed, all hell breaks loose.
CALLY: How will they find out?
ORAC: There is a little used regulation which allows any of the Arbiters to call for a medical examination of the winning combatant.
CALLY: Won't it resist?
ORAC: The Vinni android will regard itself as human. It will have no reason to resist such an examination.
AVON: Orac, how can we destroy the android without violating the Convention?
ORAC: By challenge, under the rules of blood feud. Since Vinni has killed his brother, Tarrant has the right of combat.
TARRANT: That sounds promising.
VILA: You wouldn't stand a chance.
TARRANT: I'll risk that.
AVON: He could use the new gun. Dayna?
DAYNA: It's ready.
AVON: Vila can get it.
DAYNA: It's in the test room, Vila.
VILA: What did your last slave die of?
AVON: Dayna, I want you to stop Servalan.
DAYNA: My pleasure.
AVON: Do everything you have to prevent that medical examination and delay things until we get there, but do not kill Servalan. Cally. Will you operate the teleport? I mean this, Dayna. You kill Servalan now, you blow everything wide open, including us. ...Tarrant. I presume you have no tedious scruples about cheating and lying?
TARRANT: None at all.
AVON: Oh, good.

[Arbiters' room]

(a technician starts to scan Vinni who is stripped to the waist. Dayna teleports in and shoots the scanning computer)
DAYNA: Still! Silent, all of you ...or I'll kill her now.
(Vinni starts to move)
DAYNA: She's dead, Vinni, not even you could reach your gun in time.
SERVALAN: Do as she says.
DAYNA: That's right, Servalan.
(she kneels by Servalan with her gun under Servalan's chin)
DAYNA: Now, I want you to close your eyes.
SERVALAN: Close my eyes?
DAYNA: We're going to play a little game. Close your eyes. ...I want you ...to imagine how my father felt ...just before you killed him.
(Servalan's eyes fly open)

[Max's room]

MAX: I understand your feelings, believe me, I do. But Deeta was a professional, he knew the risks...
TARRANT: The challenge has already been made.
MAX: He might not accept it.
TARRANT: He has to accept it, you know that. Will you act for me or not?
MAX: There's still time to withdraw...
TARRANT: Yes or no?
MAX: Vinni's the best I've ever seen. You don't stand a chance against him...
TARRANT: Yes or no?!
MAX: ...Very well. I'll negotiate the arrangements.
TARRANT: And the combat computer, remember, I want it to choose the battle chamber and run the contest.
MAX: I see no reason they shouldn't agree to that. ...You're a fool, Del.
TARRANT: It's a family trait, Max.

[Flight deck]

VILA: And they accepted what Dayna did?
AVON: They ruled it as a minor technical violation. Banned her from the planet just as I expected.
VILA: Well, are you going to tell us why, or are you just going to gloat quietly to yourself?
AVON: There is a blood feud between Dayna and Servalan. But Dayna did not declare a challenge and she did not kill Servalan, either.
DAYNA: A purely temporary oversight on my part.
(there is a beep and the viewscreen shows :-
COMBAT COMPUTER: READY)
AVON: Any time now.
VILA: Are you sure you can reach him, Cally?
CALLY: No, I'm not sure. It's a long way, I warned you of that. But I know Tarrant well now and I know where he is.
VILA: Well, why not have a trial run?
CALLY: There's no point, Vila. Either it works at the time or it doesn't.
DAYNA: And if it doesn't, he's dead.
CALLY: You think I don't know that?
(the following lines are added :-
COMMAND SEQUENCE: RUNNING
INSTRUCTIONS: COMMENCE
1. WAIT)
VILA: They agreed on the conditions. We're on.
AVON: Get on with it, Orac, tap into that computer. I want to know which chamber it chooses.
(on the viewscreen the 1. WAIT changes to :-
1. COMBAT GROUND SELECTED
2. WAIT)
AVON: Well? Which is it?
ORAC: I am checking! Kindly wait.
AVON: We are short of time, Orac.
VILA: I'll say we are. It's not hanging about this time.
(on the viewscreen the 2. WAIT changes to :-
2. ARBITERS TAKE POSITION AND INDICATE READINESS
3. WAIT)

[Arbiters' room]

(screen reads :-
INDICATE READINESS
Servalan and the other two Arbiters press their buttons. The following lines are added :-
TEAL ARBITER: READY
VANDOR ARBITER: READY
NEUTRAL ARBITER: READY
(The screen changes to :-
COMBATANTS GO TO
BATTLE CHAMBER
ENTRANCES
CHALLENGER: BLACK
CHAMPION: RED
INDICATE READINESS)

[Max's room]

MAX: I won't wish you good luck. That's what I wished your brother.
TARRANT: Thanks for your help, Max.
(he takes off his bracelet and gives it to Max)
MAX: There's nothing for you to prove, Del. You just kill that man, any way you can.
TARRANT: Oh, don't worry. I wasn't planning to be a hero.

[Flight deck]

(on the viewscreen a line is added :-
CHAMPION: READY)
AVON: Come on, Orac. Come on.

[Red combat ground entrance]

(Vinni waits)

[Black combat ground entrance]

(Tarrant moves to the door from the empty locker as its door closes)

[Flight deck]

ORAC: I have the information you required.
AVON: Cally.
CALLY: (telepathic) Tarrant. ...Tarrant, listen to me. ...Concentrate.

[Black combat ground entrance]

CALLY [OC]: (telepathic) The chamber contains the observation gallery of a deep space liner. Your door will open first, but only by sixty seconds. In that time you must reach the centre of the gallery.

[Max's room]

(to the display has been added :-
CHALLENGER: READY)

[Arbiters' room]

(screen comes up :-
COMMENCE)

[Black combat ground entrance]

(the door closes. Tarrant has gone in)

[Red combat ground entrance]

(the door opens and Vinni enters with his gun in his hand)

[Observation lounge]

(Vinni jumps in from one end of the viewing gallery with gun at arms length and casts round for Tarrant. He smiles holsters his gun and crosses to the other end. Tarrant has hidden beneath the gallery and quietly climbs onto the gallery in a prone position and aims his gun at Vinni's back)

[Max's room]

MAX: Kill him, Del. Kill him now!

[Flight deck]

VILA: What's he waiting for?
DAYNA: He can't shoot it in the back!
AVON: It's a machine ...pull the trigger.

[Observation lounge]

TARRANT: Vinni!
(Vinni spins round and goes to draw gun. Tarrant fires, Vinni staggers, Tarrant fires two more shots and Vinni evaporates in a blue fluorescent glow
TARRANT: ...As ever, Dayna, gaudy, but effective.

[Deeta's room]

AVON: Having vaporised the evidence, there is no proof now, of course.
MAX: How could they have done it? It's a betrayal of everything ...every civilised ...How could they have done such a thing?
AVON: Well, if it's any consolation, I don't think they did. Servalan is undoubtedly behind it.
TARRANT: She'll have had some help, of course, but not from the High Council of Vandor itself, or not deliberately.
AVON: There's an arms manufacturing cartel that looks highly promising as a candidate for co-conspirator.
TARRANT: Yes, particularly since one of its directors happens to be a member of the High Council.
MAX: But there is nothing we can do, short of outright war.
AVON: Well, as a matter of fact, our legal advisor, ...Orac, suggests that as Servalan called for a medical examination that never in fact took place, the result of the contest between Vinni and Deeta is technically void. If you lodge an objection, that contest will have to be fought again.
MAX: Of course! ...I'll get on to it right away.
AVON: Orac has two other suggestions to make. First, you use your veto to get a change of neutral Arbiter. Second, you make it clear from the outset that Teal will require a medical examination of both contestants ...before the fight.
MAX: Right. I'll do that. ...(to Tarrant) I'll be back in a minute.
AVON: I think we should leave now.
TARRANT: Max just said that he'd be back...
AVON: Orac had another interesting legal point to make. According to the rules of the Teal-Vandor Convention, You are now the new First Champion of Teal.
TARRANT: I think we should leave now.
AVON/TARRANT: Bring us up, Cally.

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