Transcript of ĎThe Syndeton Experimentí

Written by Barry Letts, directed by Brian Lighthill.
Transcribed by Nicola Mody

(c) 1998 by the British Broadcasting Corporation. Series created by Terry Nation. This is a dialogue transcript for research purposes and is not for sale under any circumstances. Transcript and format (c) 2002 by Nicola Mody 

Part 2 (back to Part 1)

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

[Scorpio]

VILA 

[eating] Does that mean weíve given up?

AVON 

Do you have to speak with your mouth full?

VILA 

Iím notóIím not going through another hyper-jump with an empty stomach. Have we given up? Thatís all Iím asking.

SOOLIN 

Mission aborted, yes. Iím beginning to think we should never have agreed to it in the first place.

TARRANT 

No...no...no!

DAYNA 

Heís coming round.

TARRANT 

Ah...ah...

DAYNA 

Itís all right, youíre back on board.

TARRANT 

Where...what...what happened?

AVON 

Thanks to your habitual arrogance, you nearly finished the lot of us.

TARRANT 

What?

DAYNA 

You forgot your bracelet, Tarrant.

TARRANT 

Ah.

AVON 

And weíre not clear yet. Slave, report.

SLAVE 

One minute ten seconds to hyper-position, master. No sign of pursuit.

AVON 

Thatís odd. Orac?

ORAC 

Still no indication of Federation activity in the vicinity of the planet. However, as I attempted to explain before, should they disable all electronic activity, they would be invisible to me.

AVON 

Oh, thatís a great help.

TARRANT 

Iím sorry.

DAYNA 

No, donít try to get up.

TARRANT 

Iím all right.

DAYNA 

You might have to take it easy for a while.

TARRANT 

I tell you, Iím all right! I just...I just need a drink. Where are we going?

DAYNA 

Back to base.

SLAVE 

Ten seconds to hyper-jump. Ten...nine...eight...

TARRANT 

Stop the countdown! Back! All of you, over there!

SOOLIN 

Tarrant!

TARRANT 

You heard me, move!

VILA 

Oy, watch it!

TARRANT 

This is no joke. If I didnít need you all, youíd be dead. Now do as I say.

AVON 

[quietly] Do it.

SOOLIN 

Whatís all this about?

AVON 

Isnít it obvious?

SOOLIN 

What? Oh, yes, of course.

DAYNA 

Servalan.

AVON 

Precisely.

VILA 

What are you talking about?

AVON 

Just do as he says.

TARRANT 

Thatís better. Slave, execute hyper-jump, time distort ten, coordinates 7720 6294 8462 6133.

SLAVE 

Er, yes, sir. Ten seconds to hyper-jump. Ten...nine...eight...

AVON 

So where are you taking us?

SLAVE 

...six...five...four...

TARRANT 

Weíre paying a visit to Doctor Rossum. Weíre going to Kapeka.

SLAVE 

...three...two...one...zero.

 

[Scorpio enters hyperspace]

VILA 

[strained] You might have let me finish my breakfast...

AVON 

Now what? Are you intending to hold that gun on us for the whole of the journey toówhere was it? Kapeka?

TARRANT 

What...I...I donít know what...what one holding me but...

DAYNA 

Heís going to pass out.

 

[Tarrant drops the gun]

AVON 

Soolin, get the gun!

SOOLIN 

Right!

DAYNA 

Itís all right. Just take it gently. Youíll be fine.

TARRANT 

What...whatís going on?

AVON 

You tell us. You pulled the gun on us.

TARRANT 

I know... I know I did. But why did I do it? I just...felt that I had to, like voices in myó

SOOLIN 

But not any more?

TARRANT 

No, I...no.

VILA 

Youíd better sit down before you fall down.

AVON 

Well away from the guns, if you donít mind.

TARRANT 

But I wouldnít... I donít get it.

SOOLIN 

It sounds to me like a post-hypnotic suggestion. You were out cold when we picked you up from Syndexia. Maybe you were in a hypnotic trance. What did Servalan do to you?

VILA 

Does it really matter? The point is that we can turn round and go home now.

AVON 

How do you suggest that we turn round when all directions are the same?

VILA 

Eh?

DAYNA 

He means that weíre going to Kapeka whether we like it or not. Once weíre out of hyperspace we can talk about going home.

AVON 

If thatís what we decide. Servalan must have a very good reason for wanting to send us to Kapeka. Iíd like to know what that reason is. If she hypnotised Tarrantó

ORAC 

My programming makes it impossible for me not to interrupt.

AVON 

What is it, Orac?

ORAC 

I took the precaution of logging on to the main computer of Syndexia, as is my wont. I would suggest that the one who calls himself Tarrant was not hypnotised, but had a syndeton nanochip implanted in his hypothalamusó

TARRANT 

What!

AVON 

Quiet!

ORAC 

ówhich placed him under the telepathic control of this Servalan. Her purposeó

TARRANT 

Hang on a minute! If thatís the case, why isnít Servalan still controlling me?

ORAC 

I should have thought that that would be clear to the meanest intelligence.

TARRANT 

Obviously not. Tell me!

ORAC 

The syndeton in the nanochip provides a hyper-channel between the two brains. Once one of them is in hyperspace, the channel vanishes into the void. And so too do Servalanís thought directions, which will be similarly dissipated and diffusedó

VILA 

Yeah, got it! You mean like when youíre three years old, peeing in the bath?

ORAC 

One moment... That experience does not appear in my memory banks.

VILA 

Well, you see, you need to have aó

DAYNA 

Vila, shut up! Orac, you were about to tell us why weíre being sent to Kapeka.

ORAC 

It is probable that what is sought is the outcome of the research upon which Doctor Rossum was engaged at the time he escaped from Syndexia and set himself up on Kapeka.

AVON 

Ah. And what was that?

ORAC 

A development of the simple syndeton nanochip to make possible the connection of any number of separate brains, and join them to one network coordinated by a central computer which would effectively be controlled by the one to whose neural network the total complex was tuned.

VILA 

Um, do you think you could run through that again at a gentle trot? I lost you halfway down the back straight.

AVON 

Donít you see, it would be a gestalt.

VILA 

That rings a bell.

SOOLIN 

I should think it does.

VILA 

Yeah, but what is it?

TARRANT 

A whole thatís more than just the sum of its parts, like...like an antís nest.

AVON 

No wonder Servalanís after it. All the different individual brains would just become offshoots of hers.

VILA 

I rather fancy the idea of Servalan as a queen ant. I wouldnít give her eggs to my goldfish though.

SOOLIN 

But where do we come in?

AVON 

Where indeed? Orac!

ORAC 

Unfortunately, with Servalanís plan, there is a majoró

SLAVE 

[at the same time] Ten seconds to hyper-jump. Ten...nine...eight... [he continues to count down during the following]

ORAC 

I have not finished my explanation. It would be most unlikeó

AVON 

Careful, Orac

ORAC 

You should be cognisant of the fact tható

 

[Avon removes his key]

SLAVE 

...two...one.

 

[Scorpio leaves hyperspace]

VILA 

Give us a chance! Ohhhh...

AVON 

Right. Back to base, or do we pay our respects to Doctor Rossum?

TARRANT 

Iím afraid you have no choice.

AVON 

What do you mean?

TARRANT 

If you donít do as I say, I shall depressurise the ship.

THE WOMEN 

Oh.

AVON 

Servalan. Sheís got here first.

TARRANT 

She has. Soolin? Give me that gun. Slowly. Now back away.

SOOLIN 

OK?

TARRANT 

Thank you.

 

 

 

[Titan]

SERVALAN 

Commander.

MODNITZ 

Yes, commissioner.

SERVALAN 

Keep them in your sights. If I give the word, terminate them. Vledka.

VLEDKA 

Yes...commissioner?

SERVALAN 

Open a communication link

 

 

 

[Scorpio]

TARRANT 

Orac was quite correct. Weíre going down to get hold of Doctor Rossumís new process. If it still exists.

AVON 

What do you mean?

DAYNA 

Why canít she go herself?

SERVALAN 

[over comms] Scorpio. Do you hear me?

AVON 

Servalan. What do you want from us?

SERVALAN 

I want the pleasure of knowing that you are fully aware of what is in store for you. You heard what your friend Tarrant said.

AVON 

Why canít you go down yourself?

SERVALAN 

Why should you believe me if I told you? Ask your own computer. Slave. Tell them.

SLAVE 

Negative. Unauthorised order.

SERVALAN 

Tarrant.

TARRANT 

Tell them, Slave.

SLAVE 

Sir?

TARRANT 

Give us a first landing report on this planet.

SLAVE 

Yes, sir. The planet Kapeka: Earth-type, .87 mass, atmosphere nitrogen-based, 24% oxygen and no fractions inimical to human life. Largely temperate climate with adequate rainfall to supportó

SERVALAN 

Quite a little paradise, wouldnít you say? Why donít you have a look at it?

AVON 

Slave? Show us.

SLAVE 

Yes, master. [he does]

DAYNA 

Itís on fire!

SERVALAN 

Not quite.

TARRANT 

Tell us why Kapeka looks like that, Slave.

SLAVE 

Er, yes, sir. The whole planet is intensely radioactive. To descend below stratosphere level would be fatal.

VILA 

Oh, great.

AVON 

I see.

SERVALAN 

Why this should be, nobody knows. Presumably some sort of nuclear disaster. Doctor Rossum is probably dead by now.

SOOLIN 

What whatís the point of sending us down if heís dead?

SERVALAN 

Ahh, well. The results of his experiments, the records, may still exist, and the information that Tarrant could find for me should enable me to obtain unassailable control of the Federation. And even if he fails, I shall be able to go to bed tonight with the amusingóno, the delectable thought that you are all going to die a very nasty death. Good bye.

 

[she closes comms]

SOOLIN 

As charming as ever.

TARRANT 

Slave, initiate landing countdown.

SLAVE 

Yes, sir.

AVON 

That order is countermanded. Abort the countdown.

SLAVE 

Yes, master.

TARRANT 

Do it!

AVON 

No!

SLAVE 

Er, deeply sorry, master, but if Iím subjected to contradictory orders, my stability governor will cease to function.

TARRANT 

You shall obey me.

SLAVE 

Er, yes, sir.

DAYNA 

No, donít!

SLAVE 

Er, no, madam.

TARRANT 

You shall.

SLAVE 

Er, yes, sir.

SOOLIN 

Donít listen to him!

SLAVE 

No, madam.

VILA 

Stop it! Youíre giving the poor old codger a nervous breakdown.

TARRANT 

Very well, Iíll initiate landing manually.

SOOLIN 

No!

TARRANT 

Yes, yes! [he shoots at her]

 

[Soolin screams, then shouts in anger and hits Tarrant]

TARRANT 

Ohh, my head!

AVON 

Well done, Soolin. Weíve got to stop the countdown.

DAYNA 

[at the same time] Are you all right?

SOOLIN 

Oh, itís only a graze. The plasma bullet just nicked my leg.

AVON 

Vila, have you got his gun?

VILA 

Sure, but donít worry, Tarrantís not going anywhere for a bit. Heís out cold. [Tarrant moans and Vila hits him] Well, he is now.

 

 

 

[Titan]

SERVALAN 

Whatís happening? Iíve lost contact with Tarrant. Have you a visual of the ship?

MODNITZ 

I have.

SERVALAN  

Show me. [he does] Ah, good. Sheís fired her retros, sheís going down. But why have I lost control? [she loses control] Why why why?

 

 

 

[Scorpio]

AVON 

Sheís not responding.

SLAVE 

I have taken it upon myself to disable the manual controls, master. Once emergency landing procedures have been initiated, they must never be aborted. A crash would be inevitable. I deeply regret the necessityó

AVON 

Quiet! Positions for emergency landing!

SOOLIN 

Vila, Dayna. Give me a hand with Tarrant.

VILA 

Avon, you heard what Servalan saidóa very nasty death! Do something!

AVON 

Once the engines go to full thrust, the point will be academic. Unless youíre strapped in, youíll be dead anyway. Get to your position. Soolin. Is he still unconscious?

SOOLIN 

Yes.

AVON 

Strap him down.

SOOLIN 

Well, what do you think Iím doing? Unh. There.

DAYNA 

Not so tight, youíll cut off the circulation.

SOOLIN 

[grunts] Good.

SLAVE 

Ten seconds to maximum deceleration.

VILA 

Here we go again.

SLAVE 

Ten...nine...eight...seven...six...five...four...three...two...one.

 

[Scorpio lands]

AVON 

Everybody all right?

SOOLIN 

Yes.

DAYNA 

Iím fine.

VILA 

What does it matter, weíre all going to die anyway.

AVON 

Vila, youíre beginning to bore me. It seems to have escaped your memory that the outer shell of every ship is a radiation shield.

VILA 

Oh, yeah, thatís right. So, as long as we stay inside, weíre safe?

AVON 

Of course we are. Slave, whatís the level of radiation outside?

SLAVE 

Er, normal, master.

AVON 

What? It canít be.

SLAVE 

Forgive me for contradicting you, master. Prone as I am to error, my sensors are in perfect working order. Background radiation is at the level expected for an Earth-type planet.

DAYNA 

But we saw it, the whole planet was glowing!

SLAVE 

Yes, madam. At approximately 37 kilometres from the surface, the ship passed through a belt of ionising radiationó

VILA 

Ahhh.

SLAVE 

ówhich terminated abruptly at about 32 kilometres. I humbly beg your pardon for having misled you so grosslyó

DAYNA 

Thank you, that will do.

AVON 

Slave, show us whatís outside the ship, a 360 degrees scan.

SLAVE 

Yes, master.

AVON 

Hmm.

DAYNA 

Mm.

AVON 

Jungle. Certainly no sign of nuclear disaster.

VILA 

Does this mean weíre not gonna die?

AVON 

It means a great deal more than that. It means that we can acquire the secret of Doctor Rossumís process for ourselves. As long as Tarrant is out for the count, Servalan doesnít know that itís safe to land. [he inserts Oracís key] Orac. Is there a central computer operating on this planet, and if there is, tell us what functions it has.

ORAC 

I am impelled to override your question. Do not land. There is lethal radiation on the surface.

AVON 

We have landed. There is no danger.

ORAC 

According to the data I gathered on Syndexia, theó

DAYNA 

The sensors show that the radiation is at a normal level. Iím afraid your are wrong this time, Orac dear.

ORAC 

I am never wrong. The data was erroneous.

AVON 

Answer my question. Is there a central computer?

ORAC 

There is a central computer, bearing 263 degrees, minimum five kilometres, maximum eight. Unfortunately, the language used is one with which I am not familiar, a language of confusing texture, similar to the chaotic neural patterning of the human brain.

AVON 

So. Not only does Rossumís secret still exist, but heís got it up and running.

 

 

 

[Titan]

VLEDKA 

The commander suggests we should descend into the radiation zone.

SERVALAN 

What? If nobody can come up with a better suggestion than that... Why? How is that supposed to help?

VLEDKA 

Maybe...maybe the radiation is scrambling the transmission.

SERVALAN 

Captain Vledka. You are an imbecile. And the commander is another. I lost contact before the ship started its descent. Iím going to my cabin.

VLEDKA 

Do you wish me to, uh, join you?

SERVALAN 

Hah! [she leaves]

VLEDKA 

[sighs]

 

 

 

[On Kapeka]

DAYNA 

Thatís some city!

VILA 

And the ships! Thereís a fleet of them!

AVON 

And not just shuttles either. Those are starships.

DAYNA 

And all those people!

AVON 

If you can call them people. Take a look through these. [he hands her the binoculars]

DAYNA 

Thanks. [she focuses the binoculars] What on earth are they?

VILA 

What? What? Let me see.

DAYNA 

Theyíve all got three legs. And three arms too!

VILA 

Let me see!

DAYNA 

Aliens!

AVON 

Robots, more likely.

VILA 

Look, let me see, itís not fair.

DAYNA 

Life isnít fair, youíll find that out when you grow up. [she gives in and hands Vila the binoculars] Here you are.

AVON 

You certainly couldnít call them androids.

VILA 

Why are they that purple colour?

ROBOT 

[in a synthesised Dalek-style voice] Stay exactly where you are. Throw down your guns. Obey me or you will be shot.

 

 

 

[Scorpio]

TARRANT 

Ahh, oh, my head. W-whatís happened?

SOOLIN 

Oh. Youíre awake, are you?

TARRANT 

Whatís going on? Ow. Why am I strapped down?

SOOLIN 

For safety.

TARRANT 

What? That doesnít make sense.

SOOLIN 

[snorts] Our safety, not yours.

 

 

 

[Titan, Servalanís cabin]

SERVALAN 

[opening comms] Vledka. In here. Iím in contact again.

VLEDKA 

[over comms] At once, madam.

 

 

 

[Scorpio]

TARRANT 

Where are the others? Have we landed? Whatís got into you? Why are you so unfriendly?

SOOLIN 

You winged me in the leg, remember?

TARRANT 

Oh. Oh, yes, I did, didnít I. Iím sorry. I donít know why... I can only say Iím sorry.

SERVALAN 

[via the nanochip] Thatís it, thatís it. Donít let her know. Now, do exactly what I tell you.

TARRANT 

Please...could you loosen the straps a bit? Just a bit looser. I shanít try anything. Please, itís agony. [he sighs] Why should you trust me? I wouldnít. But sheís not here now, Servalan I mean. It must be the radiation acting as a barrier or something. Please, Soolin, it really does hurt. Look, my fingers are going white.

SOOLIN 

Oh... All right. But no tricks. And only a touch, mind.

TARRANT 

Ohhh. Oh, thatís better. Ah! Iím getting pins and needles.

SOOLIN 

Yes. Well, Iím sorry it has to be like this.

SERVALAN 

Youíve got her. Sheís starting to weaken. Sheís not as tough as she thinks she is.

 

 

 

[On Kapeka]

VILA 

Donít you find that extra leg gets in the way? I mean, if it was me, Iíd be bound to trip over it.

ROBOT 

Silence.

VILA 

Yeah, but Iím interestedó

AVON 

Vila, shut up.

ROBOT 

Watch them.

ROBOT 2 

Yes, sir.

AVON 

[quietly] Iíd feel happier if they hadnít taken our guns.

DAYNA 

At least they didnít search us. Iíve still got my knife.

VILA 

Did you notice as we drove through the city, there wasnít one real person?

DAYNA 

Thatís right. Just these robot creatures, hundreds of them.

VILA 

And each one uglier than the next. Why do you suppose theyíre all purple?

ROBOT 

Wait.

VILA 

Strewth! The economy jumbo size, the daddy of them all! And this oneís purple too.

GREAT ROBOT 

Silence!

DAYNA 

Oh, no!

GREAT ROBOT 

[with more expression than the other ones] Why have you come here? Youóthe tall oneóstep forward. Why do you trespass on my domain? Who are you? And what do you want?

AVON 

To see you.

GREAT ROBOT 

To see me? How do you know of my existence? Whyówhat is your name?

AVON 

My name is Avon. And you, unless Iím very much mistaken, are Doctor Rossum.

ROSSUM 

Avon? Avon, you bloody dear boy! Just let me get this wretched headset off. [his voice becomes normal] Ahh. Avon! If I believed in fate, you...youíre just the person to...ohh, you could not have come at a more opportune time!

AVON 

Iím very pleased to hear it. But why the charade?

ROSSUM 

Charade? That was no charade. The great neurobot is part of the plan and it is designed to intimidate. Itís just that until now Iíve had no opportunity to... Well, you must admit you were just a little bit frightened, hmm?

DAYNA 

Not really.

ROSSUM 

You must be Soolin.

DAYNA 

Dayna.

ROSSUM 

Dayna. Of course. And you would be Vila?

VILA 

Yes. I would be.

AVON 

How do you know our names?

ROSSUM 

Iíve kept my eyes open for your...your doings, ever since your names first appeared on the FedSec computer. Anybody whoís an enemy of those rogues is my friend. Now, come and sit down. [he leads them away, his voice fading out] Now, youíre still outlaws?

 

 

 

[Scorpio]

TARRANT 

[pleadingly] Soolin.

SOOLIN 

What is it?

TARRANT 

I donít know about you, but Iím famished. We havenít eaten since we arrived in Syndexia. Go on. [flirtatiously] You could always feed it to me.

SERVALAN 

Thatís the way. Slowly, slowly. Win her confidence.

 

 

 

[Rossumís headquarters]

ROSSUM 

My plans are complete, my people are ready, the great adventure can begin. And now I have you to join me.

DAYNA 

Your people? Do you mean the robots?

ROSSUM 

Oh, but theyíre not robots, well, at least they are, but theyíre far more than that. [he laughs briefly] If I were to tell you that I haveóat a stroke so to speakóthat I have solved all the problems of human existence, what would you say?

AVON 

I think Iím beginning to understand.

DAYNA 

But there arenít any humans here.

ROSSUM 

Oh yes, there are. Tell her, Avon.

AVON 

Theyíre some sort of hybrid, half-human, half-robot. Right?

ROSSUM 

Nearly. Theyíre neurobots, thatís what I call them. Yes, took me a long time to think of it; itís good, eh? Neurobots, hmm? Anyway, my neurobots are in fact the original inhabitants of Kapeka.

VILA 

I wondered where theyíd got to. But there must have been hundreds of thousands of them.

ROSSUM 

Nearly two million. And they had their personalities, their total brain patterns, transferred to the computer-brains of the robot bodies, leaving their original bodies just a useless, empty shell. And there you are.

DAYNA 

But why should anybody want that to happen to them?

ROSSUM 

Oh, where shall I start? Because thereís theoretically no limit to the capacity of the robot brain youíre given, thereís an enormous increase in the intelligence quotient. Thereís no illness any more, you have virtual immortality in fact. And because you have to have flesh and blood to experience emotions, thereís no more anger, no depression, in fact no misery at all.

VILA 

Butówhat about pleasure, joy, ecstasy?

ROSSUM 

Oh, of very little use. A rational equanimity is far more efficient. Of course, thereís usually a small residue of learned patterns of feeling after the transfer, but it soon evaporates.

VILA 

But why three legs? And three arms?

ROSSUM 

Now, Iím really proud of that. A third leg for balance, hmm? Think of a three-legged stool. And a third strong hand to hold things while you work on them with your other two. You can see it makes sense. Oh, itís great fun correcting the mistakes of dear old mother nature.

VILA 

And the purple colour?

AVON 

[interrupting] There is one thing in all this that seems to make no sense at all.

ROSSUM 

And what is that?

AVON 

If itís so...so desirable to be a neurobot, how is it that you havenít transferred yourself?

ROSSUM 

Ah, youíve put your finger on the nub of it. That is exactly what Iím going to do. Iím an old man with a wonky ticker as my dad used to say, my timeís running out. And you have arrived at exactly the right moment.

AVON 

I donít understand.

ROSSUM 

Now that you have come to join me, today will be the day of my...my apotheosis. You shall be with me when I put on this headset for the very last time and activate the transfer I have dreamed of for so long. By the mere turning of that control, I shall enter into final communion with my creation. A unity of mind way beyond the puny understanding of these lumps of meat we live in. Today is the day I shall become a very god! ... Would you like some toasted cheese?

 

[he leaves]

 

 

 

[Scorpio]

SOOLIN 

Tarrant! Youíre such a messy eater!

TARRANT 

No, itís no good, itís all going down my shirt.

SOOLIN 

Oh, dear.

TARRANT 

Look, thereís nothing for it, youíll just have to undo one of my hands.

SOOLIN 

[sceptically] Oh, yes.

TARRANT 

Now come on, what can I do with one hand? And you can always keep out of reach. Word of a gentleman?

SOOLIN 

Oh...well...all right, but I warn you, if youó [she releases Tarrant, who hits her] Oh! Oh!

TARRANT 

Remarkable what you can do with one hand. I gave up being a gentleman years ago.

 

 

 

[Rossumís headquarters]

AVON 

Hmm. He certainly seems a trifle disturbed.

VILA 

A trifle disturbed? A trifle? Heís got scrambled eggs inside that bonce of his.

DAYNA 

But what could this great adventure of Rossumís be? We should have found out.

AVON 

I would guess that all the neurobots function through the king-sized one that Rossum was wired up to when we arrived. And if heís going to transfer himself into that, then heís not so far wrong. He will be a demigod compared with the human race, and then what?

VILA 

[thoughtfully] I wasnít imagining it, was I? He did say toasted cheese?

DAYNA 

A takeover bid? The rest of mankind, is that what you think?

AVON 

What else could it be? And with an army of two million, all in his control...

VILA 

Iíll go and chase it up, right?

AVON 

[distracted] What? Oh yes, sure.

 

[Vila leaves]

AVON 

And the most dangerous thing of all as that he thinks heís some sort of saviour.

 

 

 

[Scorpio]

TARRANT 

Slave, would a spacesuit protect me from the radiation outside?

SLAVE 

Oh, certainly, sir. However, no protection is necessary.

TARRANT 

What? Explain!

 

 

 

[Titan]

SERVALAN 

No radiation!

VLEDKA 

What is it, madam?

SERVALAN 

Quiet! ... Vledka! A gunship with a full complement of troopersónow!

 

 

 

[Elsewhere in Rossumís headquarters]

ROBOT 

Ah. Mr Vila.

VILA 

Just the...the man...the neuro...just the bloke I was looking for.

ROBOT 

I was on my way to find you, sir.

VILA 

[tentatively hopeful] Dinner ready?

ROBOT 

If you will follow me...

 

 

 

[Rossumís headquarters]

DAYNA 

Vilaís a long time. Do you suppose heís all right?

AVON 

More to the point, what trouble is he getting into? I expect he went to find Rossum.

DAYNA 

[opening a door] Well, heís not here.

AVON 

[opening another door] Thereís somebody...through there. Behind the great neurobot.

DAYNA 

Look! Lying on that table!

AVON 

Vila!

ROSSUM 

[entering] Ah! There you are. Iíve got a surprise for you. Vila? Come and say hello to your friends.

VILABOT 

[entering, his synthesised voice still recognisably Vilaís] Hi there! Dinnerís nearly ready, apparently.

DAYNA 

Vila!

VILABOT 

Whatís happened to my voice?

AVON 

Look at your handsóall three of them!

VILABOT 

Oh, no! W...what have you done to me?

ROSSUM 

Well, it takes a little getting used to, but youíll soon feel the benefits.

AVON 

How dare you!

ROSSUM 

But you, you agreed to join me. How else could Ió

AVON 

You must change him back!

ROSSUM 

I assure you, in a few hours, youíll beó

VILABOT 

Please, I couldnít bear to live like this!

ROSSUM 

Once weíve incinerated the husk, ha, thatís probably...

AVON 

[dangerously] You burn them?

ROSSUM 

Well, of course we do. Always. Hygiene, you know. And then, Vila, youíll feel entirely different. All I have to do is press this buttonó

DAYNA 

No! Stop!

VILABOT 

Noooooooo!

AVON 

You mustnít do it!

ROSSUM 

I have offered you the greatest gift...

 

[Tarrant teleports in]

DAYNA 

Tarrant!

TARRANT 

Get back against the wall! I mean it! I shanít hesitate to shoot. You too!

DAYNA 

OK, OK.

AVON 

I should do what he says, Doctor Rossum.

ROSSUM 

Donít wave that thing at me, young man.

AVON 

What do you want? Whatís going on?

TARRANT 

Youíll find out as soon as Servalan gets here. Whatís wrong with Vila? Has he passed out?

VILABOT 

Itís all your fault, Tarrant.

TARRANT 

Vila?

VILABOT 

If you hadnít forgotten your teleport bracelet... Iíll kill you. Iíll kill you for doing this to me!

TARRANT 

Keep back! [he fires]

VILABOT 

Aaaaaugh. [he dies]

DAYNA 

This is for Vila! [she throws her knife, presumably hitting Tarrant in the arm]

TARRANT 

Ah! Ow! Oh! [he drops his gun]

DAYNA 

Avon, get his gun!

AVON 

[doing so] Tarrant, get back. Stop making such a fuss. Is Vila all right?

DAYNA 

Far from it. Half his head is blown away. Heís dead. Iíll have my knife back, please. [Tarrant cries out in pain as she retrieves it] Iíve a good mind to stick it in your guts, you bastard!

AVON 

Dayna, itís not his fault. Doctor Rossum, Servalan can hear every word we say. Can you fix it?

ROSSUM 

Oh, certainly.

 

 

 

[Servalanís gunship]

SERVALAN 

Captain Vledka?

VLEDKA 

Commissioner?

SERVALAN 

Heís in that central tower with Avon and Rossum. Set us down in the courtyard.

VLEDKA 

Madam.

 

 

 

[Rossumís headquarters]

ROSSUM 

There you are, my boy. You can wake up now. [he slaps Tarrant lightly] Wake up.

TARRANT 

Mm...what? Ah.

SOOLIN 

[opening comms] Come in, Avon. Can you hear me, Avon?

AVON 

I hear you, Soolin.

SOOLIN 

Tarrantís got away. I say again, Tarrant has escaped. Look, Iím sorry, butó

AVON 

Itís all right, Soolin, heís here and everythingís under control.

 

 

 

[Scorpio]

AVON 

[over comms] But Soolin...

SOOLIN 

Yes, what is it?

AVON 

Get yourself into a geostationary parking orbit. Iíve got a feeling weíre going to have to get out of here fast.

SOOLIN 

Yes, I hear what youíre saying. Out.

 

 

 

[Rossumís headquarters]

AVON 

Now listen, Rossum. We obviously havenít got much time. I came here for a purpose, and I donít intend to leave empty-handed.

ROSSUM 

What do you mean?

AVON 

Youíre going to give me the secret of syndeton control.

ROSSUM 

Hah! You think itís as simple as A plus B equals C? You think you can carry it away on a slip of paper?

AVON 

No, Doctor Rossum, I donít. I want the brain of the great neurobot.

ROSSUM 

Never.

AVON 

You say that you know all about me. Then youíll know that I enjoy hurting people. And if thereís no other way...

VLEDKA 

[entering] Hands high, the lot of you! You! Slide that gun across to me. NOW!

 

[Avon does so]

SERVALAN 

And donít try anything foolish, Avon. We have this place surrounded.

ROSSUM 

[breathlessly] Oh...tha...thank goodness youíre here.

SERVALAN 

Doctor Rossum, are you all right?

ROSSUM 

Yes, a small attack of angina. My heart, you understand. Itíll pass, itíll pass. But it makes it all the more imperative, that I should wait no longeró

AVON 

No! Donít let him do it!

SERVALAN 

Do what? What are you talking about? Doctor Rossum, stay where you are.

AVON 

If he puts on that headset and operates the control, heíll be out of our reach, yours and mine. Thatís what weíve come for, you and I, to learn the secret of his power. If you let him slip your grasp now, itís lost to both of us, forever.

ROSSUM 

Madame Servalan, I beg you!

SERVALAN 

So, what are you suggesting, Avon?

AVON 

We can work together to make him talk, and share the secret when we get it.

DAYNA 

Avon, no!

SERVALAN 

Iíve never been one for talking. Iíd have thought you know me well enough by now. I prefer to do, and do I shall. If that is where the secret lies, then that is where I shall go.

VLEDKA 

Donít do it, madam.

SERVALAN 

Iím touched by your concern, captain. This headset, you say? [she puts it on] Aaaaaaugh!

ROSSUM 

No! You mustnít do it!

VLEDKA 

Stay where you are!

SERVALAN 

Ahh! This is what Iíve always dreamed of. Oh! To feel the fullness of the strength thatís flowing into my mind. Iím launched upon a torrent which is sweeping me away. [her voice becomes more robotic and other voices join it] And the torrent is Servalan!

ROSSUM 

Oh!

 

[Servalan continues to cry out during the following]

ROSSUM 

You must stop her. It has to be controlled.

AVON 

What? Whatís that you say?

ROSSUM 

The enormity of the union can only be contained by an empty mind. Iíve spent years of preparation for this day. Her greed and pride will try to multiply themselves to an infinite degree.

AVON 

You mean a positive feedback?

ROSSUM 

Precisely that, a howl-round, a howl-round that will overload the circuitry of the brain. Youíve got to stop her!

AVON 

Servalan! Can you hear me?

SERVALAN 

I hear you, Avon. I hear you...

AVON 

Servalan! Youíve won! The long fight is over!

TARRANT 

Avon, what are you doing?

AVON 

Quiet! You are the victor, Servalan. Nothing can stand in your way. The Federation is yours!

SERVALAN 

Yes! Yes! Yes!

AVON 

You will be the leader of us all, the monarch that all shall obey. The great queen of the galaxy itself.

SERVALAN 

Oh yes! Oh yes! The queen of the galaxy at last! At last!

AVON 

And shall be greater still. Servalan, empress of the universe.

ROSSUM 

No, stop it, you must stop it, you will destroy the brain. Youíll destroy them all!

 

[the cries of the Kapekans can be heard under Servalanís words]

SERVALAN 

Oh yes! The empress of the universe. Then the peoples of the cosmos shall bow before me, the planets worship me! The stars themselves will lie beneath my feet, and all the voices of creation shall cry my name in triumph: Servalan! Servalan! Servalaaaaaan...

ROSSUM 

What have you done!

AVON 

Itís over.

VLEDKA 

Sheís dead.

AVON 

Is she, Captain Vledka? So what now? Are you going to arrest us?

VLEDKA 

Go your own way, Avon. Thereís nothing more for me here. [he leaves]

ROSSUM 

[cries out]

DAYNA 

Doctor Rossum!

ROSSUM 

Itís my heart. Avon...youíve killed my dream, youíve killed my people, and I think youíve killed me too.

AVON 

I have killed nothing. Your people, your neurobots, were never alive in the first place.

ROSSUM 

W...what are you saying?

AVON 

[opening comms] Soolin, are you there?

SOOLIN 

[over comms] Yes, I hear you, Avon. Iím in orbit.

AVON 

Stand by to take us up.

DAYNA 

No! We must take Vilaís body with us.

AVON 

Of course. Vila! [slaps Vila's cheek] Wake up!

VILA 

What...where...oh. Hi there, Avon. Is dinner ready?

DAYNA 

Vila!

ROSSUM 

Alive? But that canít be... He was transferred to that neurobot that was killed!

AVON 

You still donít understand, do you? Vila was never Ďtransferredí. Your neurobots were nothing but automata, no more alive than a computer game.

ROSSUM 

But...what about their bodies? The bodies I incinerated all those years ago.

TARRANT 

You burned them alive.

AVON 

It was you who killed your people, not I. Nearly two million of them. Iíd call that genocide, Doctor Rossum.

ROSSUM 

[chokes and gasps] Ah...oh!

DAYNA 

Doctor Rossum!

ROSSUM 

I...Iím sorry...Iím sorry.

AVON 

Who are you saying sorry to, old man?

ROSSUM 

[gasps and dies]

DAYNA 

Heís dead.

 

 

 

[Scorpio]

VILA 

[opening a bottle of bubbly] Quick, quick, the glasses. Come on everybody, grab one.

SOOLIN 

Do you think this is a good idea?

VILA 

Oh, come on, Soolin, donít be such a wet blanket. Itís not everybody who gets to celebrate his own resurrection.

TARRANT 

I think weíre all lucky to be alive.

DAYNA 

Iíll drink to that.

TARRANT 

As Vila was still alive, does that mean that Servalan was alive as well?

AVON 

I wonder. She was still connected directly to the giant neurobotís brain when it blew up.

SLAVE 

Ten seconds to hyper-jump. Ten...nine...

TARRANT 

Everyone get in position.

SLAVE 

...eight...seven...six...five...

VILA 

But why were they purple?

SLAVE 

[continues to count down]

 

End of Part 2 and the play - exit