Wing Commander Movie Shooting Script
- PLEASE CONSULT THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS BEFORE TAKING IT UPON YOURSELF TO CORRECT SPELLING ERRORS*
You can download a PDF copy of shooting script HERE
To the best of our knowledge everything in the shooting script was filmed and CG scenes had preliminary animation work done. A very rough workprint that includes most of this material - with the exception of most scenes involving the Merlin character - does exist.
As a reference aide, dialogue and scenes that don't appear in the theatrical cut
of the Wing Commander movie appear in red-orange text.
Gold colored text indicates that the action or dialogue shown was altered in the theatrical cut.
Green is reserved for scenes and dialogue where they have been moved in the final edit.
Rewrite by Chris Roberts & Larry Wilson
New Copy (White): January 8th 1998 by Mike Finch
Pink Pages Revised February 8th 1998
Pages 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 6A, 7, 7A, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 15A, 16,
17, 18, 18A, 19, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 26A, 27, 28, 29, 29A, 30, 31, 32,
33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 40A, 41, 42, 43, 48, 49, 50, 50A, 51,
52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 58A, 59, 60, 61, 63, 65, 69, 70, 79, 79A,
80, 82, 82A, 83, 84, 84A, 88,, 92, 95, 109, 109A, 110
Blue Pages Revised February 13th 1998
Pages: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 7A, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 15A, 18,, 20, 21, 22, 25,
26, 26A, 27, 28, 29, 29A, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 39, 40, 40A, 41,
42, 46, 47, 49, 50A, 51, 53, 54, 56, 57, 57A, 58, 58A, 59, 60, 61, 62, 62A,
64, 65, 67, 68, 75, 75A, 79, 79A, 81, 2, 82A, 83, 84, 84A, 90, 91, 92, 93,
94, 95, 97, 99, 101, 104, 112, 113, 114, 115
Yellow Pages Revised February 15th 1998
Pages: 25, 26a, 32, 33, 35, 41, 55, 56, 57, 57A, 60, 61, 62, 62A, 65, 79,
79A, 80, 83, 91, 93, 94, 95, 96, 104, 113, 114, 115
Green Pages Revised April 3rd 1998
Pages: 4, 6A, 11, 32, 33, 40A, 54, 81, 83, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 93A,
112, 113, 114, 115
1 FADE IN:
3 EXT. INTERSTELLAR SPACE
We see a beautiful swirling quasar. Red spills over the blackness of space. This is the Charybdis Quasar -- the offspring of several collapsed stars and the gateway to Earth.
A HUGE ASTEROID slowly cruises into frame. As we drift closer we can see that this "rock" is covered with a lattice work of towers, gun emplacements, antennae and docks -- huge battle ships sit idle in their berths. Two monstrously large ion engines are imbedded in the "rear" of this mobile naval base.
SUPERIMPOSE: VEGA SECTOR FLEET HEADQUARTERS - TERRAN CONFEDERATION: ASTEROID WORLD "PEGASUS." MARCH 15TH. EARTH YEAR 2654. 0900 HOURS, ZULU TIME. LOCATION: ULYSSES CORRIDOR. 700 LIGHT YEARS FROM EARTH.
3A INT. PEGASUS COMMAND AND CONTROL/NAVCOM CONTROL ROOM
Hewn out of solid rock, this is the nerve center of the Pegasus station. a FEW BORED TECHS sit at their stations. This is the end of the graveyard shift. A RADAR tech is drinking coffee.
CLOSE ON his screen: NOTHING.
Puts down his coffee, leans back.
Hey Tom, you cover for me? I've got to take a leak.
Another tech nods. The Radar Tech leaves.
CLOSE ON his screen: a mass of RED BLIPS suddenly appears.
CLOSE ON the coffee mug: The coffee starts to VIBRATE.
3B EXT. ASTEROID WORLDLET
From above, we see what must be the shadows of a hundred bombers pass over the surface of this rock. Then we hear the scream of engines. STRANGE, ALIEN FIGHTER CRAFT -- their shapes almost suggesting a TALON or a CLAW -- dive INTO THE FRAME. Begin their attack run.
3C INT. PEGASUS COMMAND AND CONTROL/NAVCOM CONTROL ROOM
The Coffee cup is shaken by explosions. Alarms ring out.
9 EXT. ASTEROID WORLDLET
Explosions pepper the surface of the asteroid world.
Confederation battle ships are caught helplessly in their berths as missiles and laser fire rain down on them.
Cold space erupts with streams of tachyon fire as the desperate CONFED ships and asteroid based gun batteries return fire.
It's a futile effort. For every attacking ship that is destroyed, another takes it's place. What few Confed fighters the worldlet can launch are instantly destroyed. The destruction is awesome, all-encompassing. This is what Pearl Harbor must have been like seven hundred years ago.
An alien bomber pulls up from it's attack run, banks hard, tears past us under full power.
9A INT. PEGASUS COMMAND ADN CONTROL/NAVCOM CONTROL ROOM
Alive now, people run to their stations. Radar, communications, weapons, and security officers bark out orders to subordinates, relay orders and issue on the spot situation reports.
Over the communications links, we hear fighters engaging the enemy, disappearing in screams and static; capital ship commanders desperately ordering their mooring cut, calling for full power and more aerial support. Mayday calls, prayers, expletives fill the airwaves.
I count one nine zero bodies inbound. Vector three seven four, attack formation.
Shields are not responding.
Station shudders as a CONFED capital ship explodes, tears apart. Great pieces of fiery metal spin through space, smash into the station, hurtle into space.
The Iowa's gone. And the Kobi.
ADMIRAL BILL WILSON, grey haired, mid fifties, thick around the middle, enters the room, a CONFED Marine trailing.
Forty Kilrathi capital ships coming to bear, Admiral. They are powering weapons.
How did they get past our patrols?
Alarms sound. SECURITY OFFICER reacts.
We have a station breach. Levels seven, eleven, and thirteen. Kilrathi Marines.
WILSON looks at a bank of black and white security monitors.
9B SECURITY MONITORS
We catch glimpses of massive, armored forms moving through shadow enshrouded corridors. Their faces obscured by rebreathers and great flowing plumes, they cut through CONFED security teams, move efficiently and inexorably forward.
A figure steps into view.
They're headed for Command and Control.
WILSON reacts, turns towards a massive computer system sitting behind a glass partition. At its center is a small black box with NAVCOM stenciled on it.
Destroy the NAVCOM A.I. Now!
COMPUTER OFFICER banks on a keyboard, smashes a glass case to reveal a r ed handle, pushes it forward. Nothing happens. HE pushes handle a second time. Again, nothing. Off of Wilson's look, COMPUTER OFFICER just shakes his head.
Command codes have been overwritten.
WILSON grabs the Marine's weapon, drops the slide back, lines the weapon, fires on the NAVCOM. Uranium depleted rounds, bounce off the glass. Clip empty, he tries to break the glass with the butt. Stock shatters.
Concussion outside. Heads swing to the massive reinforced doors leading to the center. They're distorting, bending in.
Prepare a drone. Get me a coded channel.
COMMUNICATIONS TECH bangs at a keyboard, nods to Wilson who turns towards a video monitor:
This is Admiral Bill Wilson, Pegasus station commanding officer. Forty Kilrathi capital ships are closing. Station has been breached. They want the NAVCOM. Repeat, they want--
Concussion tears into the room as the exterior doors are blown off their hinges in a wall of toxic smoke. Wilson's head snaps to the doors. he can just see the outline of an armored figure stepping through.
CLOSE ON his eyes. He's a dead man, but there's no fear, just resignation.
He depresses a button by the video monitor.
9C EXT. PEGASUS STATION
A single drone launches from the burning station, fires retro rockets, speeds away towards a distant swirling mass of dying suns called the Charybdis Quasar some forty hours away.
As the drone speeds back, it passes in front of the Kilrathi battle group. CAMERA stays on the ominous alien armada.
9D INT. CONCORDIA - BRIDGE
CLOSE ON a video monitor. On it, we see a playback of Wilson on the Pegasus station. Image shakes as he speaks:
This is Admiral Bill Wilson, Pegasus station commanding officer. Forty Kilrathi capital ships are closing. Station has been breached. They want the NAVCOM. Repeat, they want--
Concussion and Wilson spins, puts his back to the monitor....transmission ends in fuzz.
CAMERA PULLS BACK to reveal Admiral TOLWYN standing on the pristine bridge of the massive battle ship, COMMODORE RICHARD BELLEGARDE behind him.
SUPERIMPOSE: CONCORDIA BATTLE GROUP, MARCH 15TH, 2100 ZULU TIME. 42 HOURS FROM EARTH
The Pegasus NAVCOM? My God, if they have it--
TOLWYN turns towards an open area.
Tactical. Give me the Vega and Sol sectors.
A holographic projection of Vega and Sol sectors materializes in front of him. Pegasus, a small blue dot is near the center. Around it are dozens of star systems peppered with red and blue dots, indicating the position of the CONFED and Kilrathi fleets.
Behind Pegasus, we see the Ulysses Corridor funneling towards the massive Charybdis Quasar.
A hundred yellow lines--avenues through space-time-- emanates from it, lead into Sol sector. One, thicker than the rest, leads directly to a solar system with nine planets.
TOLWYN walks inside the hologram. As he nears the solar system, a single blue planet, Earth, enlarges, floats there, spinning slowly.
What is the fleet's position?
We're spread all over the sector. The earliest our advance elements could reach Sol is forty-two hours. And that is piecemeal and taking risks with the jumps, sir.
And with the NAVCOM they can reach Earth in under forty through the Charybdis Quasar...
A mere two hours could decide the outcome of this war.
Signal all ships to mark our course and make full speed for Earth....I need to know what the Kilrathi are up to, Richard. I need eyes and ears, and I need intelligence. Do we have any ships left in Vega?
BELLEGARDE checks the situational display on his monitor:
Just one, sir. The Tiger Claw. But she is out of communications range, and a drone will take two days to reach her.
TOLWYN checks the display, motions to a small red dot in Sol Sector.
BELLEGARDE bangs on the keyboard, readers:
A requisitioned merchantman, sir. The Diligent.
It's captained by James Taggart.
Enroute to the Tiger Claw with two replacement pilots. Lieutenants Todd Marshall and Christopher Blair.
Open a secure channel to the Diligent immediately. I need to speak to her Captain --
Right away, sir.
(peering at readout)
and this 1st Lieutenant Blair.
9E EXT. EARTH'S SOLAR SYSTEM
The Diligent, a merchantman, speeds by Venus. Behind it, spinning slowly, we can clearly see Earth.
9F INT. DILIGENT - TINY CABIN (PREVIOUSLY SC. 26)
BLAIR, mid twenties, straight out of the academy, is sprawled out on the tiny bunk, no shirt. He's fingering a silver cross that hangs around his neck. On closer examination, we see that it is inscribed with astrological symbols and ends in a dagger point. It's a PILGRIM CROSS.
A VERY SMALLMAN, about sixteen inches tall, appears to sit on a shelf just above his head, watching. This is, in fact, a HOLOGRAM projected by Blair’s portable personal computer (PPC), MERLIN.
I know there's a war going on -- but a requisitioned merchantman? What are we on, a garbage run? Delivering groceries?
BLAIR ignores him and keeps reading. This irks Merlin.
"The Diligent?" Please -- "The Dilapidated" is more like it. "The Deluded." "The Dilatory."
(finally looking up)
"Inclined to delay, tardy, slow. From the Latin, Dilator"
I’m not keeping you up, am I?
Where did you pick up that sarcasm? I didn't put that in your program.
I don't just sit around waiting for you to power me up. The sarcasm I downloaded from the main-frame at the Academy while you were in --
(suddenly all business)
Lt. Marshall's approaching the hatch.
Blair hides the cross in his book, just as the hatch opens, revealing TODD 'MANIAC' MARSHALL. He hasn't earned his "Maniac" moniker just yet - For now people just call him Lt. Marshall. But for script simplicity we'll refer to him as Maniac through out. Maniac is Blair's age and a fellow pilot, but the resemblance ends there.
Where Blair seems closed-off and brooding, Maniac's an open book -- big-boned and with a slightly crazed gleam in his eye.
Up and at 'em, Captain wants you on the bridge. Top priority.
He glances up at Merlin, who now sits immobile, but with eyes that seem to follow you around the room, like a creepy optical illusion.
What are you looking at?
What a waste of artificial intelligence.
Funny Lieutenant, I was thinking the same about you.
Merlin shoots an indignant glance at Blair just as he vanishes.
There weren't enough know it alls in the universe, you had to program another one.
Come on, we better get upstairs.
I'll meet you.
Maniac starts to say something, then shrugs and leaves.
Blair lifts his Pilgrim cross from the book and slips it over his head. He grabs his shirt and pulls it on hastily.
9G INT. DILIGENT - BRIDGE
A grim, ruggedly handsome man of indeterminate age, looking more like a pirate than a merchant, comes out of the GALLEY with a hot cup of coffee. This is James Taggart, better known as PALADIN. Maniac sits idly in the copilot's seat.
BLAIR arrives, ducking through a small hatch-way.
PALADIN looks strangely at Blair. Blair realizing his cross is still partially visible, tucks it away. Paladin doesn't say anything.
I don't' know who you know Lieutenant, but you just received a CONFED Code One secure communication.
BLAIR sits at the center console, slides over to the comm screen, keys a code.
Blair, Christopher, Lieutenant.
...Screen powers up and ADMIRAL TOLWYN appears on the screen. Reflexively, Blair straightens up.
At ease, Lieutenant?
Yes sir, Admiral.
Good. You are currently outbound for Vega sector and the Tiger Claw. I need you to hand deliver an encrypted communications chip to her captain. Captain Sansky. Message is incoming.
Why not send it by drone to the Pegasus, sir? It would be quicker--
The Pegasus is gone. it was destroyed by a Kilrathi battle group twelve and a half hours ago. See that Captain Sansky gets that chip.
All do respect sir, why me?
Right now, you're all I've got.
I fought along side your father, in the Pilgrim Wars. He was a good man -- you look a lot like him.
People say I have my mother's looks, sir.
Tolwyn reacts, as if remembering something.
Yes, it must of been hard. They were both good people. Godspeed. Tolwyn Out
Recorder spits a small circular chip out. BLAIR takes it and the monitor turns to fuzz.
9H INT. CONCORDIA - BRIDGE
TOLWYN steps back from the monitor. BELLEGARDE stands behind him.
You don't approve, Richard?
Of using Blair's kid? No, sir, I do not.
9I INT. DILIGENT - BRIDGE
PALADIN bangs coordinates into a navigational computer as MANIAC sits idle in the copilot's seat. BLAIR looks up from the comm screen. Paladin doesn't wait for Blair to speak.
This milk-run just got a little more interesting. Set a course for beacon 147, one quarter impulse.
Course for 147. One quarter impulse.
147's off limit's sir. There's 100,000 kilometer no-fly zone around it.
I said beacon 147. It's a shortcut. Lose the sir.
MANIAC shrugs, leans over to the controls, bangs the course in, hits the engage button with his foot.
As PALADIN moves away, we see a black tattoo on his fore arm. It's in a strange, jagged script: Kilrathi.
9J EXT. DILIGENT - SOLAR SYSTEM
Craft streaks by Mercury. We follow the Diligent as it heads towards the Sun. Ahead of it, far in the distance, we can just make out a flashing buoy. Behind the buoy, space seems to distort, shimmer ever so slightly.
10 EXT. KILRATHI BATTLE GROUP
A ship, a Snakeir, enters the frame. Thing's huge, ominous, deadly.
SUPERIMPOSE: KILRATHI BATTLE GROUP. ULYSSES CORRIDOR, VEGA SECTOR. 40 HOURS FROM THE CHARYBDIS QUASAR.
11 INT. SNAKEIR BRIDGE - ADMIRAL's FLAGSHIP
The interior of the huge space vessel is nearly obscured by a thick, almost viscous green fog: the nutrient atmosphere for the Kilrathi officers and crew. They are a biped, two armed race of beings nearly eight feet tall. But their features are obscured by the thick mist. Only their eyes, gleaming yellow, seem to penetrate the dense atmosphere. There is something vaguely cat-like about their silhouettes as they move lithely about the bridge. It's almost as though they can see clearly...which they can. Their vision is in the infrared spectrum.
A Kilrathi, this ship’s CAPTAIN, approaches the battle group commander, a Kilrathi ADMIRAL.
12 CAPTAIN's POV, INFRARED BAND:
Through his eyes, the fog disappears as he comes up behind the shadowy figure peering out into space through a thick window.
The CAPTAIN, head bowed, s peaks in a low hiss--the Kilrathi language--which we read in subtitles.
The Ulysses Corridor is clear. As you predicated, the door to Earth is open.
ADMIRAL turns. It's face is scarred, distorted, one eye missing. His plumes, indicative of rank, clan, and battle fought and won, flow over massive shoulders. Small smile creeps over his visage, exposes yellowed canines.
Human voices cuts through his reverie:
And you have your prize.
ADMIRAL turns, looks. Dressed in a full atmospheric suit a human shape stands in shadow at the edge of the bridge. Around his neck hangs a PILGRIM CROSS. His voice is tiny and filtered through his comm device.
The NAVCOM A.I. has been reconfigured to your jump drives.
ADMIRAL's one good eye dilates, seems to flash. His voice is tinny and slightly delayed as its filtered through the a translation device.
You have betrayed your race on a scale unimaginable, Pilgrim.
I have lived up to my part of our agreement. Live up to yours. Destroy Earth.
ADMIRAL looks long and hard at the Traitor.
SC. 13-33 OMIT
34 INT. DILIGENT - PALADIN's QUARTERS
Paladin's door is open. Blair appears. Paladin is studying An ancient star chart.
Blair steps into the quarters, Spartan at best. A cold meal is scattered over the old star charts.
We're holding steady on the beacon. Maniac has the helm.
He sees the old star charts.
These must be antiques.
Yeah. They were made by the first explorers in the sector. Pilgrims.
I couldn't help noticing the tattoo on your neck.
conceal painful memories.
A small smile crosses Paladin's face; the type you use to
How about the Pilgrim cross you hideunder your vest.
Don't worry we all have pasts and secrets.
It was my mothers.
PALADIN studies Blair, seems to like what he sees.
May I see it?
BLAIR pulls his cross off, hands it to Paladin. there's something in Paladin's eyes as he takes it, something almost reverential. He runs his fingers over it, depresses a plate and a seven inch blade telescopes from the cross. As Paladin runs his finger over the blade:
(That easy smile again)
There was a time, long ago, when people looked up to the Pilgrims. They were at the forefront of space exploration.
PALADIN retracts the blade, hands the cross back to Blair, looks at him as the younger man slips the cross around the neck.
You know, since the Pilgrim's were defeated -- not a single new Quasar has been charted.
Just then, the ship lurches with a sudden surge of acceleration.
And Paladin flies out of the cabin.
SC. 35 OMIT
36 INT. DILIGENT - BRIDGE
Paladin storms onto the bridge, followed by Blair.
Maniac vacates the captain's chair. Paladin studies the instruments.
Did you change course?
No, just boosted the power. Why dog it when we can be at that beacon in an hour?
That beacon is marking a gravity well!
BLAIR and MANIAC react as PALADIN punches the navigation computer. Heads up display materializes. A flat grid appears. It begins to fold inward, creating a strange, swirling elliptical spike in the concave surface.
This galvanizes both Blair and Maniac. Merlin self- activates and begins pacing.
I told you this ship wasn't up to the job. My sensors indicate that there are a number of structural flaws that--
What the hell is that?
Merlin. My personal portable computer.
Tell that runt to shut up or I'll jettison it.
Merlin freezes, mute.
whirlpool, and disappear.
Paladin uses a telescopic lense to bring up a dim object on the screen, a blurred image of spinning space, generating a powerful magnetic field! Asteroids and space junk caught in its pull are sucked down, as though into a
Paladin begins firing reverse thrusters, throwing the two younger men forward as he slowly alters course.
One cubic inch of that well exerts more gravitational force than the sun!
PALADIN bangs on the navigational computer inputs coordinates.
Come on! If I don't re-align our entry vector, we're not going to make the jump.
What happens if we miss?
The Diligent's skin begins to GROAN and CREAK. A sensor screams out.
Have we reached the entry vector's PNR yet?
Paladin feverishly throws switches, makes adjustments, totally concentrated on the task. The spinning gravity well appears closer.
Not quite yet. She's reaching out for us. Hear that?
The GROANS increase, as the thrusters fight to change course. On the screen Scylla appears larger and more ominous.
Well Ladies, meet Scylla, bane to sailors, and monster of myth.
What's a Scylla?
Ulysses sailed between the whirlpool Charybdis and the island monster, Scylla. She snatched six of his men and ate them.
I didn't need to know that.
This beauty will eat more than that. Hold on.
Paladin flips a switch, and a bank of thrusters throws the ship sideways. The Diligent yaws for a few moments, as every seam groans. Maniac and Blair are thrown to the deck. Merlin's holographic image VIBRATES until it's a blur. The ships' afterburners scream.
PALADIN bangs on the navigational computers, keeps putting in coordinates.
Diligent seems to steady, line up. On the heads up display, we see a digital glide path.
(to the screen)
Broken your grip, old girl. Betterluck, next time.
PALADIN sits at the pilot's chair, steers the Diligent along the glide path. outside, we see space shimmer, distort, bend.
What the hell is this thing?
This "thing" is a distortion in space- time. Pilgrims were the first to chart it.
So why is it off-limits?
Because it's unstable.
(Mouthing to Blair:)
And we're going to jump it?
Suddenly, a sensor screams out, and the heads up display disappears.
Navigational computers just went off line.
It's the magnetic fields. Blair, take the helm!
I've never made a jump before.
Now would be a good time to learn.
And Paladin's gone.
Do you like this guy?
BLAIR's POV: The swirling vortex of the gravity well approaches fast.
36A INT. DILIGENT BRIDGE - NAV COMPUTER
PALADIN works desperately on the navigation computer, pulls a panel off, considers the intricate wiring, starts pulling chips, rewiring the thing.
36B INT. DILIGENT - BRIDGE
Gravity well's right there. Digital countdown reads 9, 8, 7 ...
Ah, Mr. Taggart.
PALADIN'S still digging away at the computer.
Five seconds to jump.
So if you don't get the computer back on line, this "unstable" gravity well is going pull us in, one molecule at a time.
You want to live forever?
Great answer. Really instills confidence in the crew.
PALADIN shoves the last chip into place.
As I was saying, this antiquated vessel is riddled with structural flaws. Inmy opinion it cannot survive the jump--
Navigation system comes to life.
Suddenly, on a computer screen, the heads up display and trajectory appear. BLAIR looks at it, doesn't move.
Plot your course, Mr. Blair!
BLAIR snaps out of it, pulls the cross from his vest, squeezed it for luck. He bangs in the coordinates, steers the Diligent on the plotted course. MANIAC starts to scream a crazy, joyous scream.
--in fact, I would calculate our chances of survival as twenty-sevenpoint two percent. I implore you...
36C EXT. DILIGENT
Tiny ship enters the gravity well, following the plotted course. It starts to shudder as it pushes against the barrier of time-space.
36D INT. DILIGENT
The nature and content of the environment changes. Stars, planets--everything--disappears. And then everything seems to freeze: PALADIN moving towards the bridge, MANIAC holding on, screaming at the top of his lungs, BLAIR at the flight controls, MERLIN pointing at the approaching singularity.
36E EXT. SPACE - THE DILIGENT
A flash of light and the Diligent appears. There's no sign of the our solar system or the gravity well, only new and unfamiliar stars and distant planets.
36F INT. DILIGENT
BLAIR, PALADIN, a s till screaming MANIAC are jolted by the entry. MERLIN picks up where he left off.
...stop this madness. That man is quite probably insane. He will kill us all.
(Realizing where he is.)...Oh.
BLAIR looks around. They're alive. PALADIN looks hard and long at Blair -- he sees something.
You just plotted a jump trough a gravity well. In under five seconds. A NAVCOM can't do that.
MANIAC, face flush with the rush of the jump, turns to Blair, impressed.
Not bad for the second best pilot at the Academy.
PALADIN turns to Maniac.
Shut up Next time you fail to follow my orders, I'll dump you with the rest of the garbage. Plot a course for the Tiger Claw, Mr. Blair.
PALADIN exits the bridge, a pissed off MANIAC staring after him.
That guy has some serious issues.
37 EXT. SPACE - VEGA SECTOR, ENYO SYSTEM
Two Confederation Rapier fighters streak across the blackness towards a distant fleck, reflecting light from a distant sun.
The fleck resolves itself into the Diligent.
SC. 38 OMIT
39 INT. DILIGENT - BRIDGE
Blair is at the con. Paladin has been summoned to the bridge. Maniac joins them.
Fighters from the Tiger Claw. They've queried us.
Send the countersign.
Blair punches a button. A coded burst crackles over the intercom. Followed by another burst.
Identification acknowledge. They'll escort us in.
40 EXT. DILIGENT AND RAPIERS
The two star fighters bracket the larger merchantman. The three craft now head for another distant fleck half illuminated in the distant. The Tiger Claw.
41 EXT. TIGER CLAW
SUPERIMPOSE: UNITED CONFEDERATION SHIP TIGER CLAW - ON PATROL IN VEGA SECTOR, ENYO SYSTEM
The three craft slowly approach the carrier class capital ship. The huge flight deck doors open, catching the Diligent and the fighters in a broad beam of yellow light. The Diligent fires its boosters and eases into the flight deck. The huge doors close. The Rapiers bank sharply in unison and veer away to continue their patrol.
42 INT. TIGER CLAW - FLIGHT DECK
Marine guards scan the identity badges and examine the orders of the two new lieutenants, MOS, then step back and salute. Paladin's ID is also electronically scanned.
The three walk towards the elevators, passing the flight deck.
The flight deck is busy, as repair crews struggle to patch combat damage from the last engagement -- we get the sense that the Tiger Claw has seen a lot of action.
Well, gentlemen, don't think I haven't enjoyed your company.
So what about the tattoo?
You know what it is?
It's a Kilrathi marker. You were a prisoner of war.
That's right. I was on the Iason when they took her.
The Iason. That was the first ship to have contact with the Kilrathi. There weren't any survivors.
I guess not.
Elevator doors open. PALADIN steps in.
Why don't you have it removed?
Let's just say, it helps me not forget.
Not forget what?
Why I fight.
Doors start to close.
So what exactly do the Kilrathi look like?
(directly to Blair)
43 INT. TIGER CLAW - FLIGHT DECK - MOVED: Now follows scene 44
Doors close. BLAIR and MANIAC look at one another start to walk the huge flight deck, check out the Rapiers arranged in a neat row along the side of the flight deck. Like the Tiger Claw, the Rapiers have obviously seen a lot of combat.
The same for a group of larger Broadsword medium bombers that occupy another part of the deck. Maniac and Blair tote their kit bags among the star craft.
He spots a beautiful blond, in grease covered overalls, working on a Broadsword.
Maybe she can help.
He moves off and engages the blond in conversation, MOS. Blair shakes his head, ducks under the Broadswords belly and continues on. He stops and admires a BATTLE WORN Rapier, its cockpit open, allowing himself to daydream.
He finds A CLIPBOARD that shows the Rapier's mission status. He cans it for a moment, then, a kid-like gleam in his eye, climbs into the cockpit.
He gets the feel of the controls...
Then, he's distracted by a feminine voice behind him.
Two Dralthis on your tail -- one above, one below.
He looks down at his inquisitor. JEANETTE (ANGEL) DEVERAUX is brunette, looks about thirty-two, her hair up, wearing an oil-stained disposable plasticine coveralls -- a socket wrench in one hand, and a small x-ray scanner in the other.
You've got five, maybe ten seconds -- the clock is ticking. What do you do?
Simple. I go vertical and inverted -- do a 180 at full throttle -- apply the breaks -- and drop behind them...
Bang. You're dead. Not fast enough. Dralthis are too quick -- particularly in a climb. You've just taken a missile up your tail-pipe.
Blair meets her gaze -- she has a streak of carbon lubricant across an otherwise unblemished and beautiful face.
Reverse the situation. You're locked on a Dralthi. It goes evasive -- enters an asteroid belt. Clock is ticking.
She starts removing the disposable coveralls.
If I'm locked on, there's no such thing as evasive--
Bang. Dead again -- it's an ambush: five or six fighters hide behind rocks the size of your swollen head and pounce - a Kilrathi gang-bang.
What's the matter, did I bruise your ego?
Blair's getting pissed.
No, I'm just not used to getting combat tips from a Grease Monkey --
Deveraux steps out of the coveralls, folding them to the size of a washcloth. She's in uniform, wearing her LIEUTENANT COMMANDER'S INSIGNIA.
Lt. Commander Deveraux. Your Wing Commander. You have a name, nugget?
Blair snaps to attention and salutes her.
Lt. Blair, Ma'am....
MANIAC has wandered over. He enjoys the show.
If you want to play at being a fighter pilot, I suggest you find a virtual fun zone. Meanwhile, step down from the Rapier.
Flustered, Blair climbs down from the Rapier. On his way down he notices a callsign on the side of the rapier - LT. CMDR CHEN - "BOSSMAN" painted next to TWENTY SIX KILL MARKS. The name and kill marks are partially obscured by a large SCORCH MARK that runs the length of the rapier a clue that this fighter has taken some damage and been patched back together.
Ma'am, the mission sheet said it was unassigned. I apologize -- I didn't realize it was Bossman's.
Blair looks at the name again -- Did he read it right?
Lt. Cmdr Chen -- Bossman.
(off Deveraux's look)
Who got all these Kills?
Deveraux takes the clipboard from him.
What are you doing on the flight deck, anyway?
(blurts out)Looking for the X.O., Ma'am.
GERALD, at the far end of the flight deck.
You found him.
watches her go.
Deveraux turns on her heels and strides off. Blair
44 INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE
CAPTAIN SANSKY, the Tiger Claw's commander officer, stands at the tactical radar board, plots fighter security flights with the Radar officer. Fifty and balding, there's an avuncular quality to the man offset by battle weary eyes.
BLAIR, GERALD trailing, walks up to Sansky, snaps to attention, salutes.
Lieutenant j.g. Christopher Blair, reporting for duty, sir.
At ease, Lieutenant. Commander Gerald tells me you have something for me.
BLAIR holds out the mini-disc.
An encrypted communique -- from Admiral Tolwyn.
(Squinting at disk)
Why didn't the Admiral send a drone via Pegasus?
Sir, Pegasus was destroyed by a Kilrathi battle group seventeen hours ago.
SANSKY reacts. He takes the disc.
Communications, I want this disc decrypted ASAP.
BLAIR salutes, start to turn.
You wouldn't be related to Arnold Blair, would you?
BLAIR steels himself. He lives in fear of this question.
He was my father, sir.
He married a Pilgrim woman, didn't he?
Sansky is interested, observes Blair closely.
Mixed marriages seldom work out. Pilgrims don't think like us.
Blair takes offense.
You won't have to worry, sir. They're both dead.
I'm sure the lieutenant's heredity will have no bearing on his performance, Mister Gerald.
No sir. I'm sure it won't.
That's all, Lieutenant. I suggest you stow your gear and familiarize yourself with the ship.
Blair can barely contain his anger as he turns and leaves the bridge. GERALD watches after him.
You don't trust him?
Computer: what are the odds that a Kilrathi battle group could infiltrate Confederation space undetected and destroy Pegasus station?
TIGER CLAW'S artificial intelligence computer responds:
One chance in one point two one million. To the tenth power.
No, sir, I do not.
SC. 45 OMIT
45A INT. TIGER CLAW - CORRIDOR
BLAIR, still fuming from Gerald's dig, walks the corridor with MANIAC.
So Gerald's another tight-ass X.O.. So what? Let it go, we are about to meet our fellow pilots. The men and women we are going to fight with, perhaps even die with and perhaps...
Don't worry, I won't let the fact that I'm pissed keep you from getting laid.
Maniac throws an arm around Blair's shoulder.
Me? I'm worried about it keeping you from getting laid. I'll show you how tomake friends.
They open the hatch to the Pilot's Mess.
45B INT. TIGER CLAW - PILOTS MESS. CONTINUOUS
Maniac pushes Blair into the room.
MESS is an apt adjective for these cramped quarters. Defaced propaganda posters, and pin-ups, male and female, line the walls.
PILOTS are spread out al over the mess -- all is banter and bullshit.
TWO PILOTS play chess on a beat up old board -- the anachronism of the game surprising. One of them is POLANSKI, a male pilot with a long scar running down his face. The other is FORBES -- female: brains, beauty, and a warrior's soul.
All of the pilots look up, when Blair and Maniac enter, then go back to whatever they were doing without saying a word -- typical hazing shit. Maniac will have none of it.
How's everybody doing? Lieutenant Todd Marshall.
I'd like you all to meet, my close personal friend, Lt. Christopher Blair -- who just happens to be the second best pilot on this hunk of junk.
Now several of the pilots look up. These are very close to fighting words with HUNTER, a male pilot.
Who are you calling the best, nugget?
Forbes looks over her shoulder at Maniac.
So this is the secret to your overwhelming popularity?
Maniac takes a step towards Hunter who gets to his feet quickly.
There's two ways to figure that out...
(reading Hunters name tag)
Hunter. One way involves you trying to kick the shit out of me --
Hunter squints at Maniac, he has no idea what to make of guy.
What's the other way?
The other way? That involves my other close personal friend. Mr. JohnnyWalker Black.
MANIAC produces a bottle of SCOTCH from beneath his jacket -- good scotch. It seems to be a real rarity and gets everyone's attention.
HUNTER, looks towards Forbes -- as if she's the unofficial leader of this bunch.
We're on stand down. One won't hurt.
(pouring a drink for Forbes)
It may even help.
The pilots flock around.
You got balls.
You should see them.
Mine are bigger.
I've been told that size doesn't matter.
(to the pilots)
Personally, Hunter, I'd have taken the third option -- kick his ass first, then drink his Scotch.
Maniac smiles at her. The pilots laugh. Blair and Maniac are accepted.
46 INT. TIGER CLAW - CHART ROOM
On a monitor, we see Admiral Tolwyn standing in the bridge of the Concordia.
Jay, I'm going to have to be brief. The Kilrathi took Pegasus. They may have her NAVCOM A.I.. By the time this communication reaches you, they will be twenty-three hours from the Charybdis jump point and Earth. CONFED capital ships are headed home now. The Concordia battle group will be able to make it in twenty-five hours. I'm ordering the Tiger Claw to the Charybdis Quasar. You are to use any means necessary to gather information as to the Kilrathi whereabouts, capacity, and plan of attack. I need intelligence, old friend. Use Taggart. He knows this space better than any man alive -- he can get you to Charybdis quickly.
CAMERA pulls back to reveal SANSKY and GERALD, watching.
I don't like it.
No one asked your opinion, Paul
Sir, the disk came to us on the Diligent, entrusted to a Pilgrim half- breed
Sansky ponders this, nods.
Send for Taggart.
46A INT. TIGER CLAW - PILOTS MESS. A SHORT WHILE LATER
The scotch has loosened things up considerably, and Blair and Maniac seemed to have been welcomed into the fold.
MANIAC looks at the chess game Forbes and Polanski are playing.
Take his pony with your castle.
We call them a 'knight' and a 'rook.'
You're kidding me, that's what you callthem?
FORBES looks at the board - damn if he isn't right. She looks up at MANIAC who winks. SHE moves the 'pony' and captures the rook.
Damn. That's cheatin'.
FORBES looks Maniac straight in the eye.
So there's a brain behind that mouth?
MANIAC flashes a trade-mark smile -- big and charming smile.
SHE gets up, heads towards Blair and the bottle.
BLAIR looks up at her -- he's leaning back on a chair with his hands in his pockets. HUNTER, sits silent, sips his Scotch.
MANIAC grabs the bottle and pours FORBES a drink.
Your friend always this talkative?
He just made the fatal error of mistaking Cmdr. Deveraux for your average grease monkey.
FORBES shoots out her hand and GRABS BLAIR BY THE BALLS. His hands are trapped in his pockets.
Feels like they are still there.
Pilots laugh. She squeezes a little tighter. Blair squirms.
If Lt. Commander Deveraux was really pissed....Well -- you'd be testicularly challenged, Lieutenant.
All I did was sit in Lt. Commander Chen's fighter.
Nature and quality of the environment changes. Smiles, save lair's and Maniac's disappear. Some pilots look away. HUNTER Looks up from his scotch.
Lt. Commander Chen. Bossman.
Bossman? Anybody here know a Bossman?
Lots of "No"s and "Never heard of him."
What's with you people?
HUNTER downs his Scotch, puts the glass down.
KNIGHT, big, black, friendly face, tries to intervene.
Leave it alone, Blair.
Leave what alone?
KNIGHT shakes his head.
You're asking after a man who never existed, nugget.
I'm pretty sure he did.
HUNTER's up in the instant, pushes Blair hard in the chest, gets right in Blair's face.
He never existed. Now, I suggest you change the subject, or I'll change it for you.
MANIAC steps up behind Hunter.
You have a problem with my friend... Hunter.
Yeah, I do.
Then you have a problem with me.
HUNTER turns to face Maniac.
Oh yeah, well you're going to love this--
Hunter spins and grabs Blair by the shirt and pulls him up -- -- Maniac grabs Hunter from behind -- Polanski rushes forward. Blair's shirt rips open -- suddenly Blair's Pilgrim's cross flops out so that everyone can see it.
He's a Pilgrim!
Hunter lets go of Blair like he's a live wire.
Everyone in the mess, including Maniac notices the cross. The jovial air is gone. Several of the Pilots stand up.
You ladies don't stand down, you're going to have a problem with me.
All heads turn to ANGEL DEVERAUX. Blair slides the cross under his torn shirt.
I want an explanation, Hunter?
HUNTER looks at Angel. Before HUNTER can answer, BLAIR cuts in.
Hunter and the others were just making Lieutenants Marshall and me feel at home, Ma'am.
DEVERAUX turns to Blair. The look on her face says volumes. SHE looks at HUNTER.
That's right Lieutenant, ma'am.
There you see, ma'am -- I guess this conversation "never existed."
46B INT. TIGER CLAW - CORRIDOR
BLAIR walks down the corridor, pissed.
BLAIR stops, his back to Angel.
I need to know that you have your priorities straight. Who the hell do you think you are?
I'm a fighter pilot on a capital ship in a war zone, ma'am.
Right. Which means you're nothing. You're a pawn in somebody else's game. We get ten, twelve replacements a month -- as fast as the Academy can spit out spare parts.
Well that really installs confidence Commander
Deveraux gets right in Blair's face.
Let me give you a Reality check -- in all likelihood, you're going to die out here -- we all are -- What none of us needs to be is reminded of that fact -- so, you die, you never existed. Understood?
Good. Cause that's the only sensitivity training speech I can remember. Now move on.
SHE walks away. MERLIN appears by Blair's shoulder:
She's kind of attractive when she's mad.
BLAIR looks at the hologram.
Hey, I'm a hologram, I'm not blind.
46C INT. CHART ROOM - TIGER CLAW
SANSKY looks at a holographic projection of the Charybdis Quasar sector. On it, we see forty red dots heading for the Quasar. Behind the quasar, a single yellow line leads to a floating Earth. GERALD stands behind him, looks at Paladin.
I know of you Taggart, but I'm afraid I don't know you. Yet you come to me with classified orders from Admiral Tolwyn.
And you don't trust me, Blair, or the disc.
SANSKY turns to face Paladin.
SANSKY nods to the hologram.
This tactical schematic outlines a nightmare, Mr. Taggart. It tells me that the Kilrathi may have a NAVCOM, and with it, the capacity to jump into Earth space. Based on that nightmare, it orders me to take radical action that, if it and you are a lie, could compromise this ship and its crew. Both of which are unacceptable. Before I put my command in harms way, I must be certain that you and the orders you bear are legitimate. So I ask you, Mr. Taggart, what proof do you have that this is authentic?
PALADIN reaches into his vest, slowly pulls a ring from his pocket. tosses it to Sansky. SANSKY catches it, reacts.
CLOSE ON: Tolwyn's ring held in Sansky's cupped hand. Inscription on it reads: "Annapolis Naval Academy, 1941." Slowly, Sansky's hand closes around the ring.
How did you get this?
Tolwyn gave it to me eight months ago. He thought it might be useful if I ever had to convince a Captain to follow his orders.
(ponders, a difficult decision)
...Con, plot a course for the Charybdis Quasar, full speed.
Sir, nearest jump point to Charybdis is four days hard travel from our current location.
There's a class two pulsar eleven hours from here. We can jump there.
Not on the charts, sir. NAVCOM does not have those coordinates.
PALADIN looks at Sansky.
I have them.
No one's jumped a pulsar for forty years. And even then, they were Pilgrims.
...I don't believe we have a great deal of choice, MR. Gerald. If the battle is to be decided in Charybdis, then we have to be there.
Plot your course.
PALADIN nods, heads for the navigation station.
Sir, that ring means nothing--
That ring has been in Tolwyn's family for sixteen generations. Any man who carries it has the Admiral's full confidence. And we have our orders. Prepare for the jump.
46D INT. TIGER CLAW - BLAIR/MANIAC's QUARTERS
Dark. The lights snap on. BLAIR, asleep, sits up. He's shirtless, and we can see the Pilgrim's cross hanging from his neck.
HE squints at MANIAC, in flight gear, standing in the room.
We going out?
No. Just me. I pulled security with Lt. Forbes.
So why did you wake me up?
Back at the academy you promised me you wouldn't wear that cross anymore.
It brings me luck, Todd.
It's going to get you killed -- Chris.
I was wearing it when I made the jump.
That had nothing to do with luck. It was about training and desire. take off the cross.
It's who I am.
You don't even know what it means. They lost the war. Winners write the history books and make the rules.
This is the big show. It is either kill or be killed. You need someone watching your back and I can't always be there.
MANIAC shakes his head.
...I'm trying to have sensitive moment - - I don't even know why I bother.
Maniac turns to go.
Wish me luck.
Luck? What about "desire."
You've seen Lt. Forbes -- you know I got the desire.
MANIAC heads out.
Hey, Marshall - luck.
Maniac smiles and closes the door behind him.
MERLIN's hologram appears on the counter across the room.
My god, what time is it?
The Pilgrims. What can you tell me about them?
Very little, I'm afraid. Confederation executive order 37495 decreed that "all history and references to the Pilgrim movement be eradicated--
--from all databanks, computer systems, and hard copy texts. I know the order. Do you have anything?
I'm afraid that that's all I have. Your father wiped my flash memory after the war -- it was law.
MERLIN looks genuinely sad by his lack of information. He tries to help.
I do know that since the Pilgrim's were defeated not a single new Quasar has been charted.
BLAIR pops out of bed, pulls on pants and a shirt, heads for the door.
Where are you going?
To talk to someone who may know a little about the Pilgrims.
Lieutenant, I must caution you against bringing up the subject. It is officially forbidden....
But Blair is gone.
46E INT. TIGER CLAW - PALADIN'S QUARTERS - MOVED: Now follows scene 74
PALADIN stands at big windows, looks out at the vastness of space. Buzzer rings.
Door opens and BLAIR enters.
Except for a few specs of light, it's all emptiness. If it were up to me, I'd let the Kilrathi have it all -- justleave Earth alone.
I have been in a thousand different solar systems and I've never seen anything in the Void as beautiful as our own sun breaking through the cloudsafter a rain storm.
Paladin turns to Blair
The Kilrathi see us as decadent and weak -- they won't stop until we're all dead. If they let us exist, it would be admitting that another race deserves the stars.
Talk to me.
All my life I've taken shit about being part Pilgrim. And I don't know why.
You are one of the last descendants of a dying race. Pilgrims were the first human space explorers and settles. For five centuries they defied the odds: They embraced space and were rewarded with a gift of a flawless sense of direction. No computers, Blair, no compasses, no charts. They just knew. Then, in a small number, about one in a million, a change started to occur.
What kind of change?
Paladin looks at Blair -- there's a hidden importance to
They learned to feel the magnetic fields created by black holes and quasars -- to negotiate singularities. They learned to navigate not just the stars, but space-time itself.
Like a NAVCOM A.I..
You've got it backwards. The billions of calculations each second necessary to lead us through a black hole or quasar is the NAVCOM's recreation of the mind of a single Pilgrim.
How did the war start?
PALADIN turns back to the window. It's as though he's recalling painful memories.
You spend so much time out here, alone, you end up loosing your humanity. The Pilgrims began to lose touch with their heritage -- they saw themselves as superior to man. And in their arrogance, they chose to abandon all things human to follow what they called their destiny. Some say they believed they were gods, others, that they were angels.
...You believe they were gods?
PALADIN turns back to Blair.
No. But I do believe they were touched by God. And like it or not, you've got some of that inside you.
Paladin lets this sink in.
I have to get to the bridge. We'll be jumping soon. I'd like you to be there.
BLAIR watches Paladin exist. Blair looks --
46F OUT THE WINDOW
Into the void -- suddenly two patrolling Rapiers streak by in the distance. They're framed by a brilliant, swirling Quasar.
SC 47-65 OMIT
66 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - FORBES
Don't take it personally, nugget -- it's a question of estrogen. Women can outfly and outshoot men -- we do better at multitasking, we can keep track of four enemy fighters.
67 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - MANIAC
Hey, it takes balls, not ovaries to handle four enemy fighters: nothing personal.
(to Flight Boss)
This is Delta Two. Permission to land?
FLIGHT BOSS (O.S.)
Delta Two, you are cleared to land.
68 EXT. TIGER CLAW
Maniac fires the afterburners on his Rapier, banks hard. Pulls into line with the opening flight deck doors.
Ooo! That must have been at least three g's...
Then Maniac rolls his craft UPSIDE DOWN and guns the throttle...
69 INT. TIGER CLAW - FLIGHT DECK
Delta Two, you're coming in too hot. Abort. I repeat, abort!...Delta Two? Do you copy? Shit!
70 INT. TIGER CLAW - FLIGHT DECK
An alarm barks out. Yellow clad deck personnel scramble to get out of the way of the oncoming Rapier. Which is still upside down.
Delta Two. YOU ARE INVERTED!
As Maniac's ship rockets through the hanger bay doors
71 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - MANIAC
MANIAC jerks his flight stick hard right.
72 INT. TIGER CLAW - FLIGHT DECK
And the Rapier flips over and touches down!
Not any more.
The Rapier fires it's reverse thrusters and brakes. The Rapier pulls to a halt just feet in front of a fuel truck and DECKMASTER PETERSON who was desperately trying to get the truck's driver to get his vehicle out of the Rapier's path.
I'm going to have your wings, Lieutenant! Just wait until your wing leader... DELTA ONE!
And Forbes' Rapier is coming in UPSIDE DOWN TOO!
Now what were you saying?
Forbes' Rapier does a 340 DEGREE ROLL, righting itself at the last possible moment and touching down.
Now, that's how you do it!
Maniac is already out of his cockpit. He walks up to Forbes' ship. The Deck crew keeps their distance -- still traumatized by Maniac's and Forbes' antics.
Forbes' cockpit pops open -- she's got a huge grin on her face.
You did that to impress me.
Just trying to re-direct some of that testosterone.
They look at each other, sharing the adrenaline buzz.
You're a total Maniac!
"Maniac" Marshall at your service, ma'am
And Maniac has a new callsign. They start giggling like a couple of high school kids who just played a game of chicken. Then...
She's looking past Maniac at DEVERAUX who stands on the flight deck, rigid and fuming.
SC. 73 OMIT
74 INT. TIGER CLAW - DEVERAUX'S QUARTERS
Deveraux, still upset, paces. The door buzzer sounds. She opens it, and there's Forbes.
You don't want to be here right now.
Forbes, smiling, waves Maniac's bottle of Scotch.
Single Malt... Just for you, sir.
Trying to bribe me?
No. Thank you. The Flight Boss would have brought us up on charges if you hadn't said something.
Yeah. What the hell were you thinking?
Well, I wasn't thinking with my head.
Goddamn it Rosie -- you're going to get yourself killed doing that.
I know what you are thinking.
You're one of my best pilots, I can't afford to lose you.
Forbes can't believe she's heard the word.
Sorry... Sorry. I was just showing off a bit in front of Maniac.
Lt. Marshall. He's got a new callsign.
I hope it felt really good.
Great -- better than sex...
She pours Deveraux's drink, puts it in her hand. Deveraux takes a healthy swig.
Well, better than sex with myself.
Deveraux smiles. Forbes laughs.
See that it never happens again.
DEVERAUX drinks. Forbes, forgiven, relaxes.
I've noticed you've been giving special attention to Maniac's friend...
Oh really, I think that might just be your imagination working overtime.
He's pretty damned cute, Angel.
Just shut up and Pour.
eyebrows Deveraux gestures for her to fill the glass.
Forbes pours her a meager drink, and with a lift of the
74A INT. SANSKY'S QUARTERS - TIGER CLAW - MOVED: Now follows scene 72
SANSKY sits at his desk -- reviewing chats of the Ulysses corridor. On his desk is a HOLO-PIC. In it is Sansky at his graduating class at the Naval Academy. Next to him is a younger ADMIRAL WILSON.
JUNIOR OFFICER's VOICE
You're needed in the chart room.
Sansky puts his pen down. He fondly takes the HOLO-PIC and looks at it.
I'll be right there.
in his hand is noticeable when he holds the flask. He stands to go. Forgets something. Turns back and picks upTOLWYN'S RING.
75 INT. TIGER CLAW - CHART ROOM
CAMERA pulls back and we see a huge holographic chart. A single blip, the Tiger Claw, flashes red on the curved grid. In front of the Tiger Claw is a mathematical representation of the pulsar, a pulsating, constantly moving series of circles. Unlike a black hole (a discrete singularity), the pulsar is a discrete singularity with an infinite number of constantly changing permutations, each one capable of transporting a vessel to another part of the galaxy. Problem is, most are dead ends. With an emphasis on dead.
Slowly, the grid begins to deform as an icicle shaped spike pulls and distorts the grid. The icicle transforms into a stalagmite, with a thick wide hole at its neck. The flashing red point is poised in front of this huge gap in the grid.
CAMERA pulls back to reveal GERALD and DEVERAUX watching the hologram as PALADIN inputs final calculations into the NAVCOM. Sansky comes through the hatch. Looks at the chart with interest.
PALADIN points to the tip of the stalagmite. His hands trace the trajectory across the wide gap in the quadrant.
The Ulysses Corridor...four days of hard travel using three known jump points. By using this pulsar, we will be there in...
(Glances at a big digital clock.)
...less than three minutes.
HE glances at the console, pushes a final button.
If your calculations are correct.
CAMERA Pans to GERALD who's just entered the chart room
NAVCOM and the finest minds in the Confederation couldn't plot this jump. What makes you sure your right?
Because they're Pilgrim coordinates, Mr. Gerald.
DEVERAUX reacts. CAMERA pans to BLAIR who's just entered the chart room.
Why aren't you at your station, Lieutenant Blair?
GERALD, already angry, turns to him.
PALADIN cuts Blair off.
I asked Lieutenant Blair to be here.
PALADIN ignores the question.
I authorized it.
We'll have a lovely view from the bridge.
PALADIN leaves the chart room. Blair stares at the gigantic spike in the holographic grid. After the others have filed out, MERLIN appears, worried.
If the entry trajectory is wrong, we'll be trapped in a moment outside of time and space...that is until the ship plummets into the pulsar and we become an infinitely small part of a special singularity. My guess is there's a fifty seven point one percent chance that we're doomed.
CLOSE ON BLAIR as he looks at the grid, at the coordinates, at the fast scrolling read outs.
The coordinates are right.
BLAIR exits. MERLIN, interested, watches him go, disappears.
76 INT. TIGER CLAW - PILOTS MESS
All of the pilots except Blair and Deveraux are gathered by the large portholes, staring out at the gigantic pulsar ahead of them, murmuring in awe.
The thing is eating suns for breakfast.
What the hell are we doing, here?
You know what we're not doing?
The ultimate rush!
Most of the pilots stare at Maniac like he's nuts. Forbes just grins.
77 INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE
Sansky, Gerald, Deveraux, Blair and Paladin are on the bridge along with the various officers and noncoms.
THEIR POV through bridge windows: The pulsar fills the windows, its huge black maw sucking suns and planets into its infinitely dense invisible core.
Suddenly, an alarm sounds. The NAVCOM AI. voice speaks calmly.
Attention! Attention. Course error. Adjust course immediately!
Ignore that! Helm, hold steady as she goes.
Captain, the ship is headed into the PNR zone of an uncharted class two pulsar. One minute before gravitational pull is one hundred per cent.
What about it, Paladin?
The readings are wrong. You're A.I.'s sensors are not calibrated to the pulsar. They've already been warped by the gravitational field.
I must insist we change course immediately....Initiating A.I. override.
There is a slight jerk as some course change appears to have been made. PALADIN leaps for the helm.
(Throwing a switch.)
Manual override! Now... Disregard your artificial intelligence or we're all dead!
Captain, I believe you should reconsider.
...Steady as she goes, helm.
Aye, aye, sir.
The alarm continues to sound throughout the ship!
SC. 78 OMIT
79 INT. TIGER CLAW - MONTAGE: - MOVED: Now follows scene 76
The alarm has men and women sweating and tense. Sansky's voice comes over the intercom throughout.
This is the Captain. Brace for jump point interphase. Fifteen seconds to jump point. - MOVED: to scene 83
80 INT. TIGER CLAW - FLIGHT DECK/HANGER BAY
OLIVIA lock down a rack of missiles.
In two Rapiers, KNIGHT and SPIRIT, strap into their seats, power engines.
81 INT. TIGER CLAW - TORPEDO ROOM - MOVED: Along with 79, follows scene 76
Spaceman RODRIGUEZ, 2nd class, a young Latino crosses himself.
82 INT. TIGER CLAW - FLIGHT CONTROL
83 INT. TIGER CLAW - PILOTS MESS
Most of the pilots are holding onto their tables or fastening the seat-belts on their chairs. Except for Forbes and Maniac.
84 INT. TIGER CLAW - ENGINE ROOM
Engineer DAVIES grabs onto a hand-hold and looks at his crew mates as various parts of the ship all begin to VIBRATE, slowly at first, then more and more violently, throwing any loose objects around.
85 INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE
The vibrations grow worse, as people grab onto anything, eyes glued on the windows.
BLAIR AND DEVERAUX are thrown together. This startles both of them, then they deliberately grab for a bulkhead.
The ship's trying to tear itself free of the space time fabric.
The vibrations grow in pitch, until the sound is almost deadening. Almost on impulse, Deveraux's hand reaches out towards Blair's elbow, as if to have one last physical contact with another human. But it never reaches it!
FREEZE FRAME: The Tiger Claw enters the gap in the space time continuum. All motion and sound on the bridge stop. Nothing moves, either human or inanimate. Time has ceased, as well as any sense of motion or vibration. All is silent.
SC. 86-87 OMIT
88 INT. TIGER CLAW - VARIOUS TATIONS - MONTAGE
Throughout the ship, men and women are caught, Pompeii- like, with expressions of fear and bewilderment...
A LONG TRAVELING SHOT past all these crew members. Then...
89 INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE
With a terrible shudder, life on the bridge resumes, alarms wail. Officers and crew are tossed about.
DEVERAUX and BLAIR: Angel's hand continues forward, touching Blair's elbow. He turns to look at her, just as they are both SLAMMED AGAINST THE BULKHEAD.
They fall to their knees. The shuddering is intense. It feels like the ship is coming apart. But Blair reaches for Deveraux's face and tilts her chin up. Her forehead is bleeding from a scalp laceration.
You all right?
She is dizzy, but nods. Then Blair turns to glance out the windows.
Where are we?
THROUGH THE BRIDGE WINDOWS: There is no sign of the awesome pulsar, now. The blackness of space, peppered with stars.... A Jovian planet looms in the distance.
We're through the jump point.
RESUME BRIDGE: Even as the others stare out, the vibrations decrease, then disappear. The alarm ceases.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Ulysses Corridor.
bank hard, accelerate away on afterburners.
Through the big windows, we see KNIGHT and SPIRIT launch,
Shields up. Mr. Obutu, stealth mode, please.
OBUTU hits a switch and the bridge controls power down. Red tactical lights kick on.
Going to stealth. Seven percent electronic emissions, zero communications.
Scanners picking up strong electromagnetic signature at 111 mark 43. An asteroid field. I'd say she's a Kilrathi, sir.
laser pen to seal Deveraux's scalp wound.
BLAIR tries to check her scalp. As if annoyed by this enforced intimacy with Blair, DEVERAUX pulls away.
It's all right.
It's still bleeding. If I--
It's all right.
Lt. Commander, prepare a recon. I want to know what's out there.
SHE heads out, Blair trailing.
And Deveraux, I don't want them to know we're here. Not yet.
SC. 90 - 93 OMIT
94 INT. TIGER CLAW - VARIOUS STATIONS - MONTAGE
This is the Captain. AS most of you have guessed, we just made one hell of a jump.
Rodriguez kisses his St. Christopher...
Actually we've just taken a little short cut into the Ulysses Corridor... If you don't already know, that's where the Pegasus Naval Base was attacked and destroyed. The main Kilrathi battle fleet is in the Quadrant and headed for the Charybdis Quasar. In eleven hours, it will be in position to jump into Earth space.Our mission is to find the Kilrathi, asses their capacities and plan of action, and if necessary, stop them.
Maniac and Forbes look at each other. Action!
We're the only Confed ship in the sector, people. We can count on no help and no rescue. We can only count on each other. That is all.
94A EXT. CONCORDIA BATTLE GROUP - DEEP SPACE - MOVED: Now follows scene 46D
The Concordia, bracketed by other CONFED ships, races through space.
SUPERIMPOSE: CONCORDIA BATTLE GROUP, MARCH 17TH, 0400 ZULU TIME. 12 HOURS FROM EARTH.
94B INT. CONCORDIA - BRIDGE - MOVED: Together with 94A, Follows 46D
TOLWYN looks out the window at fast moving space. BELLEGARDE approaches from behind.
Message from Earth Command, sir. Their defenses are on line but--
They don't believe they can withstand a Kilrathi battle group without the support of the fleet.
No sir. But they will fight. Earth will never surrender.
Surrender? That's not an option with the Kilrathi. They believe themselves to be the supreme race above all others. The rest of us are just here to do one thing.
To die.(Turns to face Bellegarde.)
We're running at 110 percent. We've already lost three ships. Two at jump points, one's reactor core melted down.
Run at 120.
94C INT. TIGER CLAW - FLIGHT DECK
hand, walk together down the flight line. IN front of them are TWO FULLY ARMED Rapiers.
Any standard operating procedure I should know about?
No SOP out here. There's only one rule.
Don't get killed?
Don't get me killed.
As SHE walks towards her Rapier, we see the markings on the side of the fighter: twenty-six kills. The same as Bossman.
That puts me ahead of the law of averages. Well ahead. The curve'll catch up to me sooner or later.
SHE motions to the Rapier next to hers. From it's BURN MARKS and NUMBERING we recognize it as Lt. Cmdr Chen's old fighter. The ground crew has painted LT. BLAIR on the side.
Your bird, Blair. Treat her well.
She's all mine.
And she'll probably be someone elses. Mount up. The clock is ticking.
94D EXT. DEEP SPACE - CHARYBDIS SECTOR
Two pin points of light pass by a deserted planet, the light from a nearby brown dwarf star throws it into half light, half shadow -- they resolve into the two Rapiers. The Rapiers head for an asteroid field circling the brown dwarf.
As the Rapiers approach the asteroid field, we see, scattered amidst the rocks and ice, pieces of metal.
94E INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - BLAIR
Blair scans his "heads up" display. On it, we see a digitized tactical schematic of the environment.
Hanging around his neck, OUTSIDE of his flight suit, is his Pilgrim cross. HE reacts to an odd shaped object spinning towards him.
BLAIR's POV: A big, twisted and burned piece of metal spins by him. Painted on the side is "CONFEDERATION STATION PEGASUS."
94F INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - BLAIR
Stunned, he watches the piece of metal spin by.
Angel. Did you catch that? That's from Pegasus.
95G INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - DEVERAUX
Shaking her head.
Concussion must have blown pieces of the station all over the sector.
Her tactical display chirps. On her radar, we see a blip, another, then they disappear.
Pipe down. I'm getting something....
Suddenly, six blips appear on her radar. They're headed for the Rapiers.
Radio silence. And get into the asteroids, now. Low power.
SC. 95-102 OMIT
103 EXT. ASTEROID BELT & BROWN DWARF - WIDE SHOT
At the edge of the asteroid field and far below, a brown draw star glows dimply. A large Kilrathi Communications Ship is cruising up from the surface of the brown dwarf toward the asteroid belt. The two Rapiers, engines off, are shielded behind two large asteroids, a few hundred yards apart.
104 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - BLAIR
Blair is sweating, now, scanning his instruments.
My scanners are blind, Merlin. Talk to me.
MERLIN's voice only:
Crosstalk between a large Kilrathi vessel and the brown dwarf down there.Can't decipher the code.
They know we're here?
Possibly. From the sophistication of the equipment on board, I'd say the vessel is a Command and Communications module.
So what is it commanding?
At least six other ships down near the brown dwarf are communicating with it.... Interesting. I'm picking up an ULF -- Ultra Low Frequency signal. The Rapier's scanners aren't equipped to receive or detect it.
But you are?
Don't tell me you've down-loaded my "sarcasm" program?
What's it mean? This frequency?
It's a primitive pulse technology, ultra low frequency. Very slow, but it carries over extreme distances. Sort of like tom toms. Pilgrims used it in the war.
How do you know? You told me you didn't know anything about the Pilgrims?
Merlin is taken by surprise.
I -- I don't know how I know it -- I just do. Perhaps it's buried in my sub- operating memory. Left over from the war. Maybe it's intuition.
Well do you have a direction?
It appears to be coming from quadrant thirty.
That's near the Tiger Claw? What's it saying?
The code isn't in my vocabulary.
They're scanning the rocks.
We can almost feel the pulse of energy passing over Blair as the Kilrathi ship scans the rocks.
105 EXT. KILRATHI COMMUNICATIONS SHIP
The ship draws closer to the asteroid ring, its exterior antennae revolving, seeking... The ship fires its retros, and hovers near a group of large asteroids.
WE PULL BACK To REVEAL Angel's Rapier only a few ship length's away, hidden behind the asteroid.
105A INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - DEVERAUX
Angel can almost smell them out there. She reaches up and switches off everything in the cockpit she can-- an attempt to reduce any electronic "noise" that could be detected by sensitive scanners.
(To herself, a whisper.)
Go on. Nothing in this mouse hole. Beat it.
SC. 106 OMIT
107 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - BLAIR
Blair, too, has shut down much of his equipment, and sits in the dark behind a big rock. Tension is palpable.
What do they see, Merlin?
Nothing. Switch on your thermal scanner.
On Blair's heads up display: Not much...except a bright red corona coming from behind an asteroid.
They've spotted Angel's heat corona behind the asteroid.
Two more Kilrathi closing fast. Got to be fighters.
Blair switches on his radio and his other electronic gear.
Angel! They've spotted us! Two more bogies, coming in hot, six o'clock!
107A INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - DEVERAUX
DEVERAUX switches everything back on, fear lessening. Excited now.
Can't spot them, Blair. Call it.
Blair touches his cross for good luck.
Jack in the Box, On three. One... two... three!
110 EXT. ASTEROID RING
Two Kilrathi Dralthi fighters are closing in fast, bracketing the ComCon ship...
The two Confed Rapiers suddenly spring into view above the asteroids and instantly unleash two missiles...
The missiles streak dead ahead and catch the two Kilrathi fighters before they can blink. ONE EXPLODES. The wreckage of the other one SPIRALS INTO THE ASTEROID ANGEL WAS BEHIND.
Blair and Angel fire two more missiles at the ConCom ship, but invisible deflector shields explode both of them safely away from the ship.
The big one's shielded. I've got two more bogies coming up from the brown dwarf. Engaging.
Negative! I count fourteen unfriendlies inbound. Looks like two destroyers. We are out of here!
The two Rapiers turn, kick in their afterburners and disappear in a streak of light.
110A EXT. SNAKEIR - SOMEWHERE IN THE ULYSSES CORRIDOR
escorts are enroute to Charybdis Quasar -- The stars in the background look unfamiliar.
SUPERIMPOSE: KILRATHI BATTLE FLEET: SOMEWHERE IN THE ULYSSES CORRIDOR. 10 HOURS FROM THE CHARYBDIS QUSAR.
110B INT. SNAKEIR - BRIDGE
multiarmed fearsome beast-like Effigy -- The Kilrathi War God Sivar. Around the idol are the banners of the Admiral's clan - A testimony to their fallen and future glory.
The Kilrathi Captain approaches and waits respectfully. The Admiral raises his head.
Sir, our lead ships have engaged a Confederation reconnaissance flight in sector 7.
Do we have a fix on the Tiger Claw signal?
The Admiral stands and looks into the shadows beyond his command chair.
(English: delayed translation)
Your friend is dedicated.
The TRAITOR steps forward. Still in this light we can't quite make out his features.
He's a Pilgrim. This is what he trained for. Prepare the ambush.
That ship is the only thing that stands between us and the success of this mission. It is yours for the taking.
That ship is insignificant. The hate of your kind blinds you. All things pass. Let it go.
You are wrong, old man. Most things pass: love, passion, anger, life. One is eternal: hate.
111 INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE
BLAIR and DEVERAUX stand "at ease" before Gerald and Sansky. Paladin stands in the background.
You knew what the orders were. No contact with the enemy. Now you've compromised the mission, and the very existence of this ship.
I had no choice, sir. They had spotted Lt. Commander Deveraux's heat signature.
GERALD Really? Angel, how sure are you that the Kilrathi had you targeted? Given the Lieutenant's background, are you really that certain?
It's well documented that Pilgrim saboteurs have been responsible for much of the Confed's problems in this war...
DEVERAUX turns to Blair. The look on her face says volumes.
Did they have me targeted? Or did you just get trigger happy?
Before Blair can answer, Sansky cuts in.
This is sterile conjecture. The Kilrathi are aware that Rapiers don't fly around in deep space without a carrier close by.
Tell me about this "communication" you claim to have heard.
(Eyes on Gerald:)
It was a ULF signal emanating from the vicinity of the Tiger Claw, sir.
(To the Tiger Claw A.I.)
What about it, NAVCOM? Were any communications sent from this ship?
Negative, Captain. There were no transmissions sent by the Tiger Claw.
SANSKY turns to Blair.
Thank you Lieutenant. That is all.
BLAIR nods, exits.
Your assessment, Mr. Gerald?
That ComCon's running point for the battle group. Their fleet won't be far behind. They know we're here, so I say we send them a message. I can have my fighters up in thirty minutes.
That would be a mistake. Without her fighters, the Tiger's Claw's vulnerable.
Sansky doesn't answer. A difficult decision.
You're a civilian scout, Mr. Taggart, not a naval officer. Tactical operations are our concern.
There's a great deal more at stake here than you seem to understand, Commander.
SANSKY holds up a hand.
The X.O. is right. I'm sorry Mr. Taggart. Destroying that ConCom and its escorts will slow the Kilrathi. Deveraux will lead a strike force. You will accompany her.
Con, plot a course for the rings of planet four fifteen.
112 INT. TIGER CLAW - DEVERAUX'S QUARTERS
ANGEL, in her flight suit, is alone, spending a quiet moment before the upcoming battle. She's looking at an OLD HOLO-VID - dated by the worn frame and static on the video. A SMALL GIRL is playing with her PARENTS.
The door buzzer sounds. She hits the pause button. The hologram freezes in place. Deveraux groans and gets off the bunk, assuming it's Forbes.
Then her door slides open. Blair stands there in his flight suit, looking grim. For once, she is caught completely off guard.
I need to talk to you.
He pushes past her, not waiting to be invited in.
You just don't barge into my--
He tosses his Pilgrim's cross at her. She catches it.
I wear it for luck. It was my mother's.
Is your luck at odds with our mission?
You think he's right? Gerald -- in his mind I started selling out the Tiger Claw the moment I stepped on board.
I don't see how can you be a Pilgrim and fight on our side.
I'm not a Pilgrim -- I don't even know what a Pilgrim is.
Deveraux looks at him.
My mother was. She was an off-worlder who grew up hating Earth, humanity. My father fought for the Confederation. Somehow, despite all the hate they found each other. They died before I was five. He was killed trying to save her in the Peron massacre. The cross is all I have. I don't know where I belong, Commander -- except here fighting and flying.
Deveraux is maybe starting to understand him. She turns the cross over in her hands.
Sit down, Lieutenant.
Why do you think they call me Angel?
BLAIR gives a shake of his head.
It's a real weeper -- headlines: My parents died in the same war. I grew up in an orphanage.
BLAIR meets her gaze. A connection.
At night, I'd cry for them. The sisters told me they were angels. I kept crying for them to come and take me to heaven. They weren't angels they were dead -- gone. It was like they never existed.
Deveraux's look is Blair's answer.
Emotion gets in the way of our mission.
Commander -- emotion is what separates us from the Pilgrims and the Kilrathi.
Deveraux has spent a lifetime denying the pain. Blair has struck a nerve.
Lt. Cmdr Chen was -- Bossman and I got close. Too close. And then he got himself killed.
Neither says anything for a minute. Blair starts to reach out to touch her, but Deveraux recovers and puts on a game face.
We are square. You saved my ass today. Id' better suit up.
DEVERAUX hands Blair back the cross. BLAIR nods, gets up, starts to exist.
And Blair. Gerald’s a clown.
112A INT. TIGER CLAW - MANIAC QUARTERS
Maniac and Forbes have just had sex. Maniac is exhausted while Forbes is still excited. Forbes obviously needs some more attention.
Come on, fire it up one more time.
I think the big Maniac needs time to refuel.
Come on, baby. Don't I take care of you?
That's a big yes, sir!
Well don't you care about my needs?
I'm all about your needs.
Yeah. And right now you need to shut up and go to sleep.
You make it all worthwhile.
Make what worthwhile?
Coming out here to fight. Saying goodbye to everyone back home.
Yeah, I remember the briefing -- by the time you return, everyone you know will be dead and buried.
I don't care about any of that.
Maniac reaches over and starts to kiss Forbes deeply.
Suddenly, an alarm rings out. FORBES rolls over.
Shit. This war's really starting to piss me off.
122B EXT. TIGER CLAW - FLIGHT DECK
DEVERAUX steps on to the flight line, looks out over the line of pilots scurrying around fighters with flight crews. Maniac and Forbes are the last to arrive still putting on their uniforms. The rest of the pilots notice with amusement.
Alright, ladies, listen up. We have a ConCom with escorts. That means two, possibly three destroyers, fighters, and support ships. Primary target is the ConCom. Everything else is gravy. Let’s make them bleed. Mount up!
Hunter's Rapier is next to Blair's. DEVERAUX approaches.
Try to keep your mind on the Kilrathi, there "Maniac".
Blair, take Hunter's wing.
Ma'am, I'd just as soon you assign me another wing man.
DEVERAUX turns to Hunter, hard.
You have some problem I should be aware of, Hunter?
(Looking at Blair:)
Yes, ma'am, I do. I won't fly with Pilgrims.
DEVERAUX looks at the big Aussie, disgust evident.
...Blair, you'll fly my wing.
Are you sure about that?
Did I just give you an suggestion or an order?
I got your wing, ma'am.
SHE walks away, leaves Blair and Hunter staring at one another:
You put me or my shipmates in danger, half-breed, I'll kill you.
113 EXT. ASTEROID RING - BROWN DWARF
Like Indians sneaking up on the settlers, the wing of Rapiers, accompanied by two Broadsword bombers, quietly picks its way through the debris of the asteroid rings around the brown dwarf. We can hear the pilots radio chatter.
Picking up any Com traffic, Baker seven?
They're observing radio silence, except for short range frequencies.
Or they aren't here any more.
Baker Two, three and four... Anything?
Nothing happening, boss.
114 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - MANIAC
Maniac is watching a cluster of blips on his HUD.
All right losers, listen up. I've got three confirmed targets at five o'clock, bugging the brown dwarf.
Confirm that. Middle one's got a massive electromagnetic signature.
It's the ConCom. Alright ladies, Deploy for attack -- the clock is ticking!
115 INT. BROADSWORD BOMBER COCKPIT - PALADIN
Scanning his equipment. Something's wrong.
That's no ConCom.
(Into his Mic:)
116 INT. VARIOUS COCKPITS
Deveraux is incensed.
Baker seven, you have no authority over this mission or its personnel. You will obey my orders.
Forget it. These are supply ships. They were left behind and out of harms way. The Tiger Claw is at risk. We have to get back.
You are a civilian scout--
Commander, I am not a civilian.
I hold the rank of Commodore in Confederation Naval Intelligence, reporting directly to Admiral Tolwyn. My callsign is Paladin.
Aboard the other Rapiers, there is astonishment.
My security verification code is Charlie Six Alpha Zebra Niner....Try it, Commander. Now.
There is a tense moment aboard every fighter in the wing.
Finally, Deveraux gives, punches the numbers into her computer. Her screen blanks for a moment - Then a message flashes on it: "Commodore James Taggart, callsign: Paladin. Fourth Fleet - Security access granted".
Listen to me, Angel. If I'm wrong, you'll have missed out on taking out a couple of freighters. If I'm right, the Tiger Claw could already be under attack.
The Claw is already in that radiation belt, boss. They couldn't radio for us if they wanted to.
All the weight is on Deveraux...
117 EXT. TIGER CLAW - NEAR JOVIAN PLANET
Three moons orbit the huge gaseous planet in the background.
118 INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE
ring. His thoughts are impossible to discern.
CLOSE ON SANSKY: a BEAD OF SWEAT trickles down his
The Tiger Claw cruises between a small moon orbiting the huge Jovian planet in the background. A thick series of rings glow dimly ahead of the ship. Rapiers glint as they maneuver while escorting the carrier through the "pass" between the two barren moons. Panicked voice cuts over the intercom:
Bogies inbound. I say again--
I'm hit! I'm hit! Mayday!
Who's breaking radio silence?
RADAR MAN (turning from screen)
I read multiple targets inbound!
OBUTU, the Officer of the Watch turns to look out the huge windows. GERALD follows his gaze.
THEIR POV: Dozens of small glinting dots, and three larger ones, appear from behind the moon.
Battle stations! Launch all fighters!
Battle stations! Battle stations!
The bridge light switches to an EERIE RED GLOW, as the alarm sounds.
SC. 119 OMIT
120 INT. TIGER CLAW - FLIGHT DECK
Pilots and crew sprint across the deck toward their planes as the huge flight doors open and the force field curtain activates.
Battle stations! Launch all fighters!
121 EXT. BETWEN JOVIAN PLANET MOONS - MOVED: Now plays 3/4 into scene 125
The Confederation Rapiers fiercely engage the oncoming Kilrathi fighters. The sky is soon full of individual dogfights. The RADIO CHATTER of the various pilots as they engage choke the airwaves. A Rapier is hit, and spirals past, on fire. A Krant fighter disintegrates.
122 EXT. TIGER CLAW
Rapiers leap from the decks into space and streak toward the distant battle. A Broadsword bomber blasts through the air lock curtain into space.
123 INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE
All fighters launched, sir.
Sansky snaps out of his trance -- suddenly all business --
All shields are engaged.
Torpedo room! Prepare all tubes!
124 INT. TIGER CLAW - TORPEDO ROOM - MOVED: Now follows scene 266
Rodriguez loads and locks a torpedo...
125 INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE
All tubes ready to fire.
I count three dozen Kilrathi starfighters, two destroyers, and one battle ship, sir!
That damned Taggart was right.
Maybe he knew something we didn't.
Brace for impact!
126 EXT. TIGER CLAW
TWO LARGE, STRANGELY CONFIGURED TORPEDOES streak through the blackness and EXPLORE against the invisible force shield with an awesome burst of energy.
127 INT. TIGER CLAW - HANGER BAY
The shock wave from the explosions rock the ship, sending men and heavy equipment flying and rolling across the deck.
SC. 128 OMIT
129 INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE
Impacts on the force shield directly in front of them continue to send shock waves through the Tiger Claw.
Give me a target, Mr. Falk!
Target acquisition imminent....We have a lock!
Fire tubes one and two!
Officers and crew watch as two white traces from the rocket propelled torpedoes streak toward the distant dots.
130 EXT. KILRATHI DESTROYER
The torpedoes SLAM INTO the weak shields of the destroyer and EXPLODE. The shock wave breaks the destroyed in half, spewing a huge gas bubble and debris into space.
WIDER: The Battle ship moves up, parallel with the second Kilrathi destroyer, launches torpedoes.
SC. 131 OMIT
132 EXT. TIGER CLAW
The huge torpedoes slam into the force shield, explode!
133 INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE
The shaking and shock waves cause widespread damage on the bridge.
The force shield is suffering a forty percent failure. Battery room reports a fire. Torpedo room reporting damage. Unable to launch.
Sansky picks himself up off the deck. What now?
134 EXT. TIGER CLAW
135 INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE
The Radar man peers at his screen.
THE RADAR SCREEN: A dozen or more points of light now appear on the far side of the screen, dead ahead.
I'm getting a dozen more targets, behind the battle ship.
They're bringing in reinforcements.
We should be flattered
Torpedo room report.
SC. 136 OMIT
137 INT. TIGER CLAW - TORPEDO ROOM
Amid smoke and general chaos, Rodriguez grabs the com.
Tubes three and four damaged, autoloaders not operational.
138 INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE
SANSKY looks out the big windows, silent, yet not afraid. There's a certain preternatural calmness to him that one might even equate with relief.
Captain! I'm getting a coded friend or foe acknowledge from the new starfighters! They're ours, sir!
It's Deveraux's wing!
139 EXT. BETWEEN MOONS
In attack formation, the Confederation wing of Rapiers and two Broadswords comes in behind the dreadnought and destroyer.
140 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - DEVERAUX
A half dozen targets present themselves on her heads up display.
All right ladies, all Rapiers except Maniac and Blair, engage those Dralthi.
See you later, nugget.
Watch your ass, Rosie.
141 EXT. BETWEEN MOONS
The Rapiers peel off two by two and engage the oncoming Dralthi fighters. The sky is alive with spiraling missiles and laser fire as the starfighters begin their deadly dance.
Broadswords, follow me in. Maniac, Blair. Cover us!
The two BROADSWORD bombers head for the larger Kilrathi ships.
142 INT. BROADSWORD COCKPIT
Roger that. Beginning bomb run.
143 EXT. DREADNOUGHT AND DESTROYER
The Kilrathi ships launch a barrage of torpedoes, which streak toward the damaged Tiger Claw.
144 INT. TIGER CLAW - VARIOUS STATIONS
The torpedoes slam into the shield and send shockwaves throughout the ship, causing major destruction. Then below decks, a TORPEDO PEENTRATES, and EXPLODES.
SC. 145 OMIT
146 EXT. TIGER CLAW
and debris spew out, surrounding the ship in a miasmic cloud. The ship begins to yaw and roll.
147 INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE
Several crewmen are injured on the bride. Sansky is badly wounded and his head is covered with blood. Gerald stoops to help him.
The hull has been breached at level three. Steering loss, eighty percent.
Sir! Sir. Medic to the bridge!
What's Deveraux doing?
148 EXT. BROADSWORDS & THREE RAPIERS - MOVED: Now follows scene 141
The Broadswords are on a bombing run. Deveraux's Rapier leads them in...
Four Kilrathi fighters -- Salthi -- move to intercept. Deveraux shoots one out of the sky with a missile! Blair gets another with his lasers...
Hay! Save some for me...
Maniac shoots a Salthis' wing off. It spirals into the last Kilrathi fighter, both go up in a fireball!
Buy one, get one free!
Cannon fire starts reaching up towards the fighters.
It's getting hot. It's up to thebombers -- let's get back out there.
The Rapiers veer off. The Broadswords continue on their bomb run.
Thanks for the escort
Steady on course. Wait for them to launch a torpedo. They'll lower their shields just before.
The sky fills with laser blasts and tachyon cannon fire. The Broadswords countermeasures counter automatically activates a variety of weapons, fireballs, tiny electronically fired missiles, etc. STILL THE BROADSWORDS ARE TAKING HITS.
149 INT. BROADSWORD COCKPIT - KNIGHT - MOVED: Follows scene 141 along with 148
As the target looms closer, the wall of anti-starcraft fire terrifies him.
They're throwing up too much flak!
The Broadsword is rocked.
Almost there. Steady.
But there is another blast and Knight DISAPPEARS IN A FIREBALL!
150 EXT. NEAR DESTROYER AND DREADNOUGHT - MOVED:Follows scene 141 along with 148, 149
As Knight's Broadsword disintegrates, Paladin veers away from the fireball.
151 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - DEVERAUX
Deveraux is engaged with two Krant, weaves hard right, left, pulling six g loops. She fires two missiles. Behind her, one of the Krant explodes.
152 EXT. RAPIERS AND KRANT
The second Krant is firing more accurately at Deveraux. Then Blair appears from underneath, and rips the Krant to shreds with tachyion cannon fire. He blasts through the debris.
What took you so long>
I took the scenic route.
153 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - BLAIR
Blair is scanning the sky.
No visual contact. Son-of-a-bitch booked!
The battle ship's preparing to launch. Torpedo tubes opening.
154 EXT. DREADNOUGHT
The huge vessels forward tubes do indeed dilate open.
(angry)They'll have to lower their shield.
The dreadnought passes close to the broken hull of the first destroyer...
Only then does Paladin's Broadsword appear, practically clinging to the wreckage.
155 INT. BROADSWORD COCKPIT - PALADIN
Paladin, looking very grim, hastily reactivates his electronics, and moves in behind the battle ship.
Baker leader, get your fighter clear of the pulse wave!
Roger that. Maniac, Blair, Break contact! Return to ship!
156 EXT. BETWEEN TWO MOONS
The Three Rapiers veer off sharply, kick in afterburners, and streak toward the Tiger Claw...
The Broadsword, practically on top of the battle ship ignites its own after burners, and LAUNCHES A TORPEDO...
Then it rockets toward the nearest moon, laser and cannon fire following it.
Torpedo impacts the battle ship. Everything disappears in an INTENSE WHITE LIGHT. Seconds pass, the light dims, and a huge explosion breaks the battle ship in two. Instantly, a shockwave starts to spread out, hits the destroyer.
The destroyer ins knocked on its side and collides with the bow half of the much larger Battle ship. A fire starts amidships, then the destroyer's ammunition begins to cook off. IT EXPLODES AND BURNS.
157 EXT. BROADSWORD - PALADIN
158 INT. BROADSWORD COCKPIT - PALADIN
Paladin begins to spin as if he were in a dryer. His hand reaches the manual eject controls, and jerks the handle.
159 INT. BROADSWORD - PALADIN
160 INT. PALADIN's POD
Well, it was fun while it lasted.
He tries to reactivate his electronics and fire the boosters, but nothing works. The white surface of the moon draws nearer. Then he accepts it, grins, remembers a few lines from his school days.
(murmurs; half smile)
"...My mind misgives some consequences, yet hanging in the stars, shall bitterly begin his fearful date with this night's revels..."
A SUDDEN, BRUTAL JERK steadies the pod and stops its rotation. Paladin is astonished. He looks down at the moon, then blinks up at the underbelly of Blair's Rapier, and the faint illumination of a tractor beam. BLAIR PEERS down at him, salutes.
161 EXT. NEAR TIGER CLAW
The remaining Kilrathi fighters break off their engagements and high tail it back toward the far side of the twin moons.
162 EXT. RAPIERS - MANIAC and FORBES
Like you have to ask.
Maniac and Forbes gun their two Rapiers after the fleeing ships. Then...
Baker One to all Baker pilots. Return to the ship. Repeat, return to theship!
Hey! What about my needs?
163 EXT. FLEEING KILRATHI FIGHTERS
Suddenly two Dralthi veer around and head back, on a collision course.
164 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - FORBES
Forbes sees the oncoming Dralthi...
They're trying to ram! I guess they don't want to play nice.
... and opens fire with everything she's got. The Dralthi disintegrates right in front of her.
MANIAC's POV: The second Dralthi coming straight at him.
Watch this Rosie.
And Maniac guns his Rapier right at the Dralthi...
Shoot him..MANIAC, OPEN FIRE!
But Maniac continues on a collision course. Forbes brings her Rapier in behind Maniac, trying to get a shot on the Dralthi...
Shoot him, or I will!
It's all in the timing...
The Dralthi and Maniac's fighter are within seconds of colliding...
When Maniac ROLLS his fighter sideways, pulls his nose up and lets loose a volley of cannon fire into the Dralthi's cockpit! The Dralthi critically hit, JUST MISSES Maniac's ship and spirals out of control right into...
SC. 165 OMIT
166 EXT. RAPIER - FORBES
Maniac realizes, but it's too late!
Rosie, shit! PULL UP!
But Forbes can't react quick enough -- The Dralthi strikes the side of her ship, amid a shower of sparks.
167 EXT. RAPIERS - MANIAC AND FORBES
Maniac comes alongside Forbes heavily damaged fighter. One entire side has been nearly shorn away. One engine remains. Still Forbes, injured, is holding her steady. Maniac eases her Rapier in until he can look into her cockpit.
Rosie. Can you hold her?
I could fly this thing and cook you breakfast.
But the Rapier wobbles and veers dangerously.
168 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - MANIAC AND FORBES
Forbes steadies her craft.
Hey, quit showing off.
Eject. I'll tractor you in.
You'd love that, wouldn't you? The ejection system is fried.
Just stay with me, Rosie. We'll do it together.
The two Rapiers are, in fact, coming in on the open doors to the Tiger Claw's flight deck.
169 FORBES POV - THE TIGER CLAW
it and lines upon the flight deck, a yellow beam of light leading the way.
Jeez, the ship looks worse than I do after a three day shore pass.
170 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - MANIAC
He glances over at Forbes cockpit, only yards away.
Baker three and four to Con. We're coming in. Clear away everything that isn't bolted down.
Roger that, Baker three and four. Clear to land.
We're coming in too hot.
Line it up. That's it.
Piece of cake. Just like before.
Except that you're right side up.
(almost chuckles)I knew something was wrong!
Through the canopy, Maniac can see the doors widening like a giant mouth. They're moving too fast. He glances over. Forbes Rapier is shuttering and yawing.
Okay... Easy. Just ease it in.
Forbes is fighting the controls with all her might.
(tension in her voice)
I love it when you talk dirty.
Pull up! Pull up!
SC. 171 OMIT
172 INT. TIGER CLAW - FLIGHT DECK
The two Rapiers appear in the door. Maniac's Rapier manages to land, but Forbes catches a wing and FLIPS ONTO ITS BACK, slides to a stop outside the air lock force field.
Maniac's craft nearly crashes before he can stop. He pops the canopy and leaps out, running toward the crash.
BLAIR runs after him. In the background we can see Blair's Rapier and Paladin, being tended by a Medic.
She's outside the airlock! You go through the force field and you're jello!
(Out of control)
Get me a suit! Get me a suit!
He runs toward the force field, staring through it at the wreckage of Forbes Rapier.
173 EXT. TIGER CLAW
deck doors in formation.
174 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - DEVERAUX
Deveraux looks out through her canopy, sees the wreckage of Forbes' Rapier. -Repeats with alternate angle after scene 172
Forbes? - MOVED: Now follows scene 172
Rosie? Can you hear me? Rosie?
Answer. Just key your mike, if you can. Come on girl. Just one little click.
174A INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - FORBES
174B INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - DEVERAUX
None of the other pilots breaks the long silence. Until...
I've got approximately ninety seconds of fuel left, Commander.
Ditto, for me.
Deveraux studies the wreckage. Could anyone have survived? Finally....
Baker leader to Con. Push that wreckage off the deck!
Deveraux can't take her eyes off the wreckage.
175 INT. TIGER CLAW - FLIGHT DECK
A AUTOMATED BULLDOZER-LIKE VEHICLE with a big blade in front, built expressly for this purpose, trundles toward the air lock curtain and the Rapier wreckage. The noise makes Maniac turn.
Hey...? What are you doing? Hey!
Maniac runs past the heavy vehicle and looks up at the Con Tower windows, in the wall above him. He can see the rim faced Flight Boss there. He begins waving his arms.
Hey! You can't do this! You can't do this. Stop! Stop! Please!
The bulldozer goes through the force field. Maniac runs after it. Last second, BLAIR tackles him!
There's nothing you can do!
Get off me you Pilgrim son-of-a-bitch!
He hits Blair hard in the mouth. Blood spurts, and Blair's grip on Maniac breaks. Maniac runs towards the bulldozer. But Blair manages to wrestle him to the ground.
(angry)Are you going to kill yourself too?
Held by Blair, Maniac watches in silent horror as the bulldozer PUSHES THE RAPIER WRECKAGE OFF THE DECK.
SC. 176 OMIT
177 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - DEVERAUX
The cockpit has been cracked. It's surface reflects light into Deveraux's eyes once, then it floats clear of her line of sight. A moment passes. Then....
Baker Leader to Con. Request permission to land.
178 INT. TIGER CLAW - FLIGHT DECK
The waiting Rapiers land. Deveraux's Rapier is the last one in...
Deveraux climbs out of her plane. Blair, Maniac, Hunter, Polanski and others stand on the deck -- Forbes was their unofficial leader.
Deveraux fights to keep it together -- she cannot show any emotion to her subordinates. She sees Blair -- she averts her eyes and lands on Maniac. She marches up to him.
Lt. Marshall you disobeyed a direct order.
I was --
Which during wartime is considered treason and punishable by death. Hunter -- give me your gun.
Hunter and the other's exchange worried glances. Blair steps forward.
You can' bring her back.
There is no one to bring back -- give me your gun, Hunter.
Maniac meets Deveraux's eyes -- he's worried, but hides it.
Hunter takes out his gun.
Hunter, put the gun away.
She's the CO, nugget.
Blair moves toward Hunter, Polanski grabs him. Hunter gives Deveraux the gun. She raises it up to Maniac's chest -- he's not moving.
What's with you? It was a stupid accident. He has to live with it.
Deveraux takes a breath -- her hand trembles slightly.
If you endanger another pilot, I will kill you.
Deveraux lowers the gun. She turns and walks past Hunter and hands it to him. As she walks across the flight deck, all the pilots look at Maniac.
179 INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE
Sansky is nowhere to be seen. The remaining officers look haggard and exhausted. Gerald is looking at a panel of scanners.
180 INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE - ON SCANNER SCREEN
A deep crater, half in shadow.
There. Put her down there!
181. EXT. TIGER CLAW - MOON SURFACE
The big, crippled ship eases into black shadow of the crate, until only its lights are visible. Then, it kills its lights, becomes nearly invisible.
A moment later, A LARGE DRONE, first seen from its fiery exhaust, hovers into view, gets its bearings and streaks into space. It has several strange antennae and domes on its hull.
182 INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE
The bridge is in near darkness, except for the moonglow and the monitors. Deveraux and Paladin arrive on the bridge. They look at each other -- where is Sansky?
Decoy away, Commander. She has a bigger electronic signature than the Concordia. I think she'll fool them, sir.
I hope you're right. Secure all active scanners. Passive systems only.
Gerald turns his attention to the bank of visual scanners. Everyone else also stops what they are doing...
High above them, they can see a series of bright dots in formation. - Unfinished effects? THis is just a shot of what appears to be a bluescreen window on the ceiling...
There. The Kilrathi battle group.
No one speaks, transfixed by the image on the little screen. The seconds feel more like years. Then...
They've missed us. They're following the decoy.
There is a moment of wild cheering. But Paladin hears something.
This startles everyone into silence. Then they hear it... the steady beep-beeping of a radar detector.
A destroyer...hunting for us.
The passive radar detector increases in frequency.
They've spotted us!
No. We're in a dense radiation belt. Gamma rays are clouding their screens. If they don't see us... they won't find us.
This is cold comfort as the steady beeping of the radar detector grows more insistent.
183 EXT. ABOVE MOON - KILRATHI DESTROYER
The Destroyer LAUNCHES A MISSILE into a crater. A mushroom loud rises from the surface of the moon.
184 INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE
The ship vibrates as a seismic tremor passes under it.
They're nuking every crater. Methodical bastards.
The pinging sounds come closer and closer together.
185 EXT. ABOVE THE CRATER
The Kilrathi destroyer launches another missile. It streaks into the far side of the crater, the half in sunlight. The Destroyer moves on, a mushroom cloud rising behind it.
186 INT. TIGER CLAW - VARIOUS STATIONS - MONTAGE:
The ship is rocked by a POWERFUL SHOCK WAVE.
HANGER BAY: Men and equipment are thrown about. Olivia and Jones are CRUSHED as a damaged Rapier tears free of it's moorings! Fire erupts.
SC. 187 MERGED WITH SC. 186
188 INT. TIGER CLAW - TORPEDO ROOM
atmosphere out of the room. Men are LIFTED INTO THE AIR and pulled screaming into the fractured tube. Others try to reach the far hatchway. Spaceman RODRIGUEZ punches the emergency button. The hatch door slides shut, trapping Rodriguez and the remaining men inside. RODRIGUEZ'S face appears in the porthole.
REVERSE ANGLE: On the faces of the crewmen safe on the other side of the door, as they watch Rodriguez die horribly inside.
SC. 189 MERGED WITH SC. 188
190 INT. TIGER CLAW - FLIGHT DECK
Blair picks himself off the deck, reacts to a sudden whistling sound....Then others hear it, look around, fear evident.
What's that sound?
The doors are falling!
The outer bay doors begin to groan and warp slightly. Light objects nearby fly up and stick to a crack in the seal between the doors.
Grab anything that will seal it! Now!
MANIAC squats at the edge of the flight deck, watches with a blank expression as pilots and crewmen race into action.
BLAIR is running for the crack when he sees a composite wing of a Rapier next to a damaged fighter that was being repaired.
Someone help me!
The wing is too heavy for Blair alone. Peterson hurries over to help. It can barely be lifted by both of them. The whistling grows more ominous.Debris is flying around the flight deck, being sucked toward the crack in the doors
Come on. We can do it.
They haul the wing close to the doors. The suction from the crack is so strong that the only thing keeping Blair and Peterson anchored to the floor is the weight of t he wing.
MANIAC sees Blair trip over a piece of debris on the deck. He stumbles, losing his g rip on the wing.
HE'S sucked towards the crack--a dead man--until he manages to grab on to a hook bolted to the deck.
The other pilots and crew members hang back, not willing to risk their lives to save Blair.
MANIAC stands. BLAIR clings to the hook but his grip is slipping. The crew members watch, frozen in inaction. HUNTER prominent. He's not going to risk his neck for a Pilgrim.
You sons of bitches just going to watch him die?
Maniac grabs a cable that was ripped loose from it's moorings, wraps it around his waist.
He tosses the loop of cable over to the other pilots and starts towards Blair.
THE CRACK splits open even wider and the increased suction pulls Maniac off his feet. He flies towards the crack, then the cable PULLS TIGHT. It stops him from being sucked through, but cinches so tightly around his waist that it seems to almost cut him in two.
He swallows a scream, clutches the cable with one hand, and like a rock climber skipping across a cliff face, makes his way to Blair.
BLAIR releases his grip on the hook and clings to Maniac.
(screaming at the crew)
Crew members pull Maniac and Blair a way from the crack.
Meanwhile Peterson ands several other crew members have HOISTED THE RAPIER WING UPRIGHT.
Anchoring themselves to the deck, they release it -- the tremendous force of the vacuum outside SUCKS the heavy metal wing up against the crack LIKE IT WERE A LEGO TOY. The shrieking howl becomes a slight tea kettle.
A REPAIR CREW arrives in a cart carrying two large metal bottles. They blast around t he wing with a thick viscous containment foam that hardens instantly into a solid mass, seals the leak.
BLAIR AND MANIAC huddle together for a moment, and BLAIR helps Maniac un-cinch the cable from around his waist. As the cable falls away, we see A RING OF BLOOD around Maniac's waist, w here the cable has cut into him.
What are you going to do when I'm not around to watch your ass?
Save your energy.
Maniac falls to his knees, nearly passing out. Blair supports him.
It's my fault -- she would've come back in, Blair --
She knew what she was doing.
I should have protected her.
Forbes was a fighter pilot in a war zone. She didn't need any protection from anybody. She’s dead and that's that.
How can you be so--
Blair and Maniac seem tiny on the vast flight deck.
SC. 191 - 196 OMIT
197 EXT. TIGER CLAW - MOON CRATER
The stricken ship bleeds air and debris into the void.
198 INT. TIGER CLAW - SANSKY's QUARTERS
out of his arm. He seems almost relieved -- Like the eight of command is lifted from his shoulders.
A grim GERALD stands over him.
Sir, they have known our every move before we make it. And all since Paladin...Commodore Taggart, Marshall, and Blair have come aboard. Then the ULF signals. There is a traitor on board the Tiger Claw--
Make your point, Mr Gerald.
GERALD and SANSKY look at the door, see PALADIN standing there.
The boy's a Pilgrim
And in your eyes, that makes him guilty of treason?
...Yes, sir, it does.
(Shakes his head, disgusted)
Lt. Blair risked his life to save mine today. He's as good a s they get. And I've fought with the best. He can fly on my wing any mission, any time. Now I urge you to get over that damned war, Commander. We have another to fight.
(Spits the word out.)
Commodore. Sir. With all due respect to your apparent rank. You are a Naval Intelligence officer. You don't know a damned thing about space combat, strategy, or war.
I knew enough not to send Deveraux's wing on a wild goose chase while the Tiger Claw was attacked.
And if we had been destroyed, you would have been safely out of harms way.
None of this maters now. What does, is our survival and our mission.... Welcome aboard, Commodore. Do you have any orders for me?
Sir, this is your ship. I offer you every assistance in the current crisis.
SANSKY looks at Paladin, nods.
As matters stand we need all the help we can get. The ship has suffered massive damage, and we have almost no operational fighters left.
The Kilrathi will be at the jump point in three hours and we still don't know their capabilities or plan of attack.
(Touching the bulkhead)
I think this old lady's got a little fight left in her yet.
...Engineering took a direct hit. Our fuel cells are ninety percent gone. We don't have enough power to keep up with the air pumps let alone get under way. Barring a miracle, we've failed.
Failure is not an option, Commander. And if it's a miracle we need, I suggest we find a way to make one. Understood?
198A EXT. KILRATHI BATTLE GROUP
Quasar a distant swirl of color.
SUPERIMPOSE: KILRATHI BATTLE GROUP. 2 HOURS FROM THE CHARYBDIS JUMP POINT>
198B INT. SNAKEIR - BRIDGE
Quasar. TRAITOR stands in shadow behind him.
You should have sent more ships. The Tiger Claw is alive, and still a threat.
ADMIRAL looks at the traitor, contempt and hate evident.
Go to the ConCom. Prepare the jump coordinates and transmit them to the fleet.
199 INT. TIGER CLAW - FLIGHT DECK
The deck looks better. Each surviving pilot heads up his own maintenance team, trying to refurbish the remaining Rapiers. Other crewmen try to repair the sprung door seals in the background as Blair comes out on the deck, sees Deveraux hunched under her own fighter. He approaches her.
DEVERAUX emerges from under her plane. She still looks shaken from Forbes' death, but she can't let go of her stiffness towards Blair.
What is it, Lieutenant
Can we stop this bullshit, please.
DEVERAUX'S shocked to hear Blair talk so bluntly.
I'm sorry about Forbes.
(Shakes his head.)
Don't. It's a shitty game, Angel. I just tried to play it with Maniac and you know what? It hurt. It's supposed to. You don't just forget the people you loved. They deserve more than that.
What do you want to do about it, Blair?
I'm all out.
Turns back to the Rapier.
He was crazy about her.
He was crazy about her? She was my best friend.
(a beat)I loved her.
He blames himself for what happened.
And so he should.
His confidence is shot. He's questioning every more he made. He can't go back up in that condition. And right now, I think we need all the pilots we can get, Angel. How about you?
I'll think about it.
He's a good guy. There's no reason to hate him.
Deveraux thinks about that.
BLAIR turns to go.
Blair turns around.
SC. 200 OMIT
201 EXT. TIGER CLAW - LATER
Work crews in space suits continue to repair the hull. Then, a sound is superimposed, the STEADY BEEP-BEEPING of a locator beacon.
SC. 203 OMIT
204 INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE
PALADIN is already there. GERALD AND DEVERAUX arrive. They hear the telltale sound of an incoming ship.
What is she? Another destroyer?
It doesn't matter. We can't take another round of bombardment
I have four Rapiers ready to go, sir. We'll go down fighting.
We'll do better than that, Angel. That ship up there is going to save our ass.
205 INT. TIGER CLAW - MANIAC'S QUARTERS
Klaxon bells announce the upcoming mission but Maniac, bandage wrapped around his bare chest, seems oblivious. HE just lies there. Door open with a hiss.
Lieutenant? It's time suit up.
I need my best pilots out there.
I don't know if I'm one of your best pilots.
Does everyone here think that I go around making suggestions?
Then I guess I gave an order. Be on the flight deck in five minutes.
And do it for Rosie.
SHE strides away, but her act of forgiveness has worked. MANIAC grabs his flight suit, his expression half way between that crazed smile of his and tears.
206 INT. TIGER CLAW - FLIGHT DECK
The Diligent, and two Rapiers are being readied for a launch. A squad of Marines marches into the Diligent in space suits. GERALD, in a space-suit, is among them.
207 INT. DILIGENT - HATCH
PALADIN and BLAIR are supervising the boarding from inside the Diligent's hatch. They are not happy to see Gerald marching up the gangplank.
I think you're on the wrong ship, Commander.
I still have a responsibility to this crew, Commodore. And, excuse my bluntness, but if you think I'm going to let my men be flown into combat by a rogue and a half-breed you are sadly mistaken.
With that GERALD pushes past them. PALADIN looks at Blair. With a wink:
He's really a great guy once you get to know him.
SC. 208 OMIT
209 EXT. ABOVE MOON ASTEROID BELT
The Diligent lurks behind an asteroid, its form folded into its ragged ridge line A shadow passes over her, and a large Kilrathi ship--the ConCom ship seen earlier-- passes directly over her. Two Dralthi escorting.
210 INT. DILIGENT - BRIDGE
GERALD, PALADIN, DEVERAUX and BLAIR, all in full space suits, listen to the searching radar signal.
Behind them, we see THE MARINES checking equipment dropping clips into weapons.
THEIR POV, through the Diligent windows; The ConCom ship.
That's no destroyer.
It's the Communication ship we came up against.
They'll spot our heat corona, soon.
They won't have the chance. Blair, man the ion gun.
(pushes radio button)
211 EXT. ASTEROID FIELD
The two Rapiers streak from behind meteorites and engage the Dralthi. The Kilrathi ComCon ship begins to veer away, but as it passes the asteroid, the Diligent leaves its cover and heads for it. Maniac's Rapier DESTROYS THE FIRST DRALTHI - MOVED: Now follows scene 217
The second Rapier is engaged in a winding, twisting dogfight. Maniac veers his fighter to engage the second Kilrathi. - MOVED: Now follows scene 217
TWO MORE DRALTHI suddenly appear from around the moon, n full afterburner.
SCN 212 - 214 OMIT
215 INT. DILIGENT - BLAIR'S GUN POSITION
Tow more Bogies at six o'clock!
fire, then veers off.
Blair opens fire at one of the attackers, who return
216 INT. DILIGENT - BRIDGE
Paladin is piloting the Diligent up toward the larger Kilrathi ship.
Marines, to your stations!
217 INT. DILIGENT - BAY
The Marines, in pressure suits, lock and load their weapons, gather around the bay door.
As soon as you get in, go straight for the bridge. We've got to get control of that ship before they scuttle her.
218 INT. DILIGENT - BLAIR's GUN POSITION
Blair tracks him and blasts him to fragments.
219 EXT. KILRATHI COMMUNICATIONS SHIP
The Diligent is alongside, inching closer to the upper deck. The Diligent's docking umbilical extends...
220 INT. DILIGENT - BRIDGE
They can't use missiles, now. We're too close.
THEIR POV, through the window: A Dralthi fighter appears, heads straight for them.
He's going to ram us!
SC. 221 MERGED WITH SC. 220
222 INT. DRALTHI - COCKPIT
The Kilrathi, in an opaque space helmet, streaks in, the image of the Diligent reflected on his face plate.
222A INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - MANIAC
Heads up, asshole!
222B INT. DRALTHI - COCKPIT
The Kilrathi turns his head, sees Maniac's Rapier bearing down on him. HE can clearly see Maniac’s giving him the finger.
222C EXT. NEAR KILRATHI COMCON SHIP
Maniac's Rapier collides with the Dralthi cockpit, SHEERING IT OFF NEATLY. The Dralthi spins wildly out of control and c rashes into the Communications ship!
222D INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - MANIAC
Maniac's damaged Rapier shakes, rattle and rolls.
That's for you, Rosie.
SC. 223 - 226 OMIT
227 EXT. KILRATHI COMCON SHIP
The Diligent's umbilical latches onto the Kilrathi ship.
228 INT. KILRATHI SHIP - CORRIDOR
A section of wall glows white hot, exploding inward! Revealing the Diligent's airlock -- which depressurizes and opens. Spacesuited Confed Marines come towards us in a surreal zero-g grace, and leading the charge...Deveraux!
229 INT. DILIGENT - BLAIR'S GUN POSITION
BLAIR can hear radio crosstalk and sounds of battle as he scans his radar screen. MERLIN's voice comes out of nowhere.
I'm picking up some strange electromagnetic emissions from theKilrathi ship.
They're Pilgrim. The same ULF frequency I picked up earlier.
This gets Blair's attention.
Deck two, aft section. The bridge. - The essence of these two lines is condensed and given to Paladin over the comms to blair in the Theatrical cut.
Pilgrim cross, kisses it, places it on the outside of his suit. He attaches his helmet and grabs a weapon. As he exits t he Diligent, he can see PALADIN and GERALD in the cockpit, their backs to him.
230 INT. KILRATHI SHIP - CORRIDOR
Blair comes through the hole, weapon ready, swings into the corridor, and right into a Kilrathi! It's dead, floating gruesomely in the airless corridor.
Nice. I believe there's another way.To the right.
BLAIR, looks left, can just make out the signs of battle, weighs his options, goes right.
Inside of the Kilrathi ship is alien, hard, grotesque. Sharp angles and exposed tubes give it almost a predatory feel, like the lair of some jungle animal. He comes to an airlock. Hitting the pressure plate he steps inside.
The green fog-like atmosphere that the Kilrathi breathe makes it difficult to see, makes the alien architecture creepy, gruesome. Blair switches his suit to thermal imaging.
BLAIR's POV (THROUGH THERMAL IMAGER): Similar to normal vision except that forms are more defined, details less so. Anything "hot" is enhanced.
230A INT. KILRATHI SHIP - CORRIDOR
MARINES push forward hard towards a heavily defended hatch way. Air is alive with laser fire, the stink of cordite, and the oppressive feeling of death. Bodies, both Kilrathi and human, litter the deck. A Marine's hit, and DEVERAUX pulls him out of the line of fire.
230B INT. BRIDGE - KILRATHI SHIP. (PREVIOUSLY SC. 234)
Two Kilrathi warriors stand at the door, weapons ready. Behind them, a KILRATHI OFFICER prowls nervously, watches a bank of monitors which show the battle raging in the ship's corridors. He keys a code into the main console and glances at the big, RED BUTTON set in the center of the console.
SC. 231-232 OMIT
233 INT. DILIGENT - BRIDGE
Blair! Blair? Answer your station...
No answer. Gerald turns, looks down the long corridor to the gunnery station. Empty. To Paladin:
You should have never brought that half- breed on this mission. His orders were to stay on this ship. Stay here. I'll find him.
GERALD locks his helmet in position, cocks his gun and heads for the air-lock Paladin looks worried.
233A INT. KILRATHI SHIP - UNFAMILIAR CORRIDOR
pans the area, climbs up to the deck. In front of him is a hatchway. He looks through the small window.
HIS POV: The Bridge. THE KILRATHI OFFICER'S fixated on the monitor. Slowly, he turns to an effigy of the god, Sivar, kneels before it. Then HE stands, walks towards the red button, hand raised.
BLAIR drops an explosive round into the grenade launcher section of his weapon, lines it on the door.
233B INT. KILRATHI SHIP - BRIDGE
Subtitle's read: "I am honored to die for the glory of Kilrah, the Emperor, and the Empire."
Three Kilrathi react as the door's blown off its hinges! Thing spins into the room in an explosion of smoke steel.
KILRATHI OFFICER recovers, brings a clawed hand down on the self-destruct button. He's blown back by a laser blast as BLAIR, weapon lined and firing, rolls in.
KILRATHI WARRIORS return fire! BLAIR has to dive a way as the wall behind him is torn up. HE ends up on the other side of console.
WARRIORS close on him, weapons firing, slugs tearing into the console, ripping it to pieces.
position from both sides, flanking him.
BLAIR's POV: Massive, armored feet closing on his
Last second, he rolls under the console, pops up, fires point blank into the back of a Warrior's head. Blast spatters tissue and crimson fluid on the wall.
BLAIR snaps around, tries to line his weapon on the second Kilrathi. Too late. Thing's right there. An armored fist knocks Blair's weapon away. Backhand sends him spinning back. HE lands hard on the floor.
WARRIOR looms over him, picks him up by his vest, lifts him off the floor, holds him up.
Four inch serrated claws appear in the thing's right hand. It cocks its arm, ready to strike ...stops, lets Blair go, stumbles back.
Lodged in its chest is Blair's Pilgrim cross. BLAIR watches he thing fall to the floor.
BLAIR pulls the cross from dead Kilrathi, wipes the blade.
Thanks for the help.
I'm a hologram. Don't touch the r edbutton.
BLAIR looks around the room. On the counter he dove behind, he sees a black box with a score of cables emanating from it, some leading to a monitor that is scrolling numbers. A piece of the door lies on top of the box, partially obscures it. He can see the letters "NAV."
What thee hell?
BLAIR pulls the piece of door away, sees the words PEGASUS NAVCOM A.I. stenciled on them.
They have the Charybdis jump coordinates, Merlin.
They have more than that. I'm picking up strong electromagnetic emissions from the panel to the right. It's a ULF signal. They're the Tiger Claw’s coordinates.
BLAIR moves to the big communications panel, ponders the strange script and numerical readouts.
What's the source?
...The Tiger Claw.
A traitor on the Claw?
It gets worse. It's encrypted with an executive level code.
Who has access to those codes?
Only Sansky and Gerald.
Panel flashes, and suddenly, the code numbers and letters start to scroll by at increasing speed.
It just went from ULF to Ultra High Frequency. The Tiger Claw just became a beacon.
Every Kilrathi ship in the sector willbe able to find her.
BLAIR reacts to a sound, spins around, sees GERALD standing behind him, weapon lined.
You'd like that, wouldn't you, you treacherous piece of garbage. I'd should feed you to these things.
Looks like you'll get your chance.
(pointing at Navcom)
They owe you a few favors, don't they Mr. Gerald?
GERALD crosses the deck in several long deliberate strides.
He smashes Blair across the side of the head with the butt of his weapons, sends Blair sprawling to the deck.
I believe you just called me traitor.
GERALD lines the weapon on Blair's head, pulls the slide back, motions to the panel with a nod.
Turn if off.
BLAIR looks at Gerald. If it's not him, then its....
A hallow, very human laugh cuts through the tension.
To think we came from you.
Both men snap around, react at the sight of the Traitor, weapon lined. He steps out of the shadow...
It's Admiral Wilson!
Wilson? But the Pegasus? It was your command.
Twenty years of service. Ironic isn't it? Twenty years, all to destroy the world that trains you.
His finger tenses on the trigger.
BLAIR lifts his cross, holds it high.
Where did you get that cross?
BLAIR stands, cross held in front of him.
It was my mother's. She was killed at Peron.
Wilson studies Blair.
I was five.
My wife burned in those flames. When you remember Peron, what do you feel?
BLAIR looks at Gerald with a dead and deadly expression.
...If you're a Pilgrim, prove it.
BLAIR nods, reaches for his weapon.
With the blade.
Slowly, Blair's hand moves away from the weapon. HE pulls the cross from his neck. A whooshing sound as the blade periscopes out. GERALD pulls an ugly looking fighting knife from his vest, assumes a fighting stance.
I was right all along. Come on, Pilgrim, pass your test.
BLAIR and GERALD circle one another, blades moving in slow, almost hypnotic patters. BLAIR feints left and Gerald tries to cut him. Blades spark. GERALD kicks Blair. Blow knocks Blair off balance, gives Gerald the advantage. HE swings, cuts Blair in the arm. Two men circle. Then GERALD makes a mistake: with a head fake, he stabs at Blair. BLAIR catches Gerald's arm, steps in, and in a classic jujitsu move, sweeps his legs out. GERALD lands hard on his back, BLAIR standing over him, blade held high.
BLAIR brings the cross down. But instead of digging it into Gerald, he throws it.
Cross flies through the air, catches Wilson in the chest. He staggers back, slumps against a column. We can hear the hiss of his suit losing air. Inevitable death.
GERALD looks at BLAIR, approaches the dying traitor.
Why warn Tolwyn?
The stars were the Pilgrim's destiny. Not Earth's, not Kilrahs.
With his last ounce of energy Wilson props himself up. In his other hand he holds something.
A grenade... With no safety! Wilson relaxes his hand. The firing pin spins off...
Blair and Gerald dive through the doorway, just as a huge explosion envelopes Wilson and most of the room.
The two men get to their feet.
(Turning to Gerald.)
Now do you want to know who yourtraitor is?
Suddenly DEVERAUX and Marines enter.
You alright in here?
They look back at the scorched bridge.
Secure the fuel cells. Blair and I have some business to take care of.
SC. 234 - 244 OMIT
245 INT TIGER CLAW - SANSKY'S QUARTERS
propped up in his bed, In his hand he holds SOMETHING.
You were the best CO I had. Why?
Because, Paul, sometimes the role you play isn't the one you were born for.
You've failed in both.
Have I? A bad spy and a bad captain.
(close to death)
Give this back to Tolwyn, please.
Sansky gives TOLWYN'S RING to Blair -- then his hands fall lifelessly to his side.
Gerald picks up Sansky's HOLO-PIC, remembering better times.
CLOSE ON THE HOLO-PIC: A different angle on the Graduating Class Sansky is in -- At the podium is ADMIRAL WILSON.
GERALD, staring at the holo-pic, reacts to the intercom. Obutu's voice comes over:
Engineering reports that the Kilrathi fuel cells have been adapted. We have 60 percent power.
Very well. Take us out of the crater.
245A INT. BLAIR'S QUARTERS -- TIGER CLAW
Tiger Claw's last hurrah. His hand instinctively goes to his chest -- but the cross is no longer there.
He pauses for a moment, noticing Tolwyn's ring. He pockets it and heads out the door.
SC. 246 - 249 OMIT
SC. 250 NOW SC. 251A
251 EXT. TIGER CLAW NEAR MOON
The Tiger Claw, firing on one ion engine, moves away from the moon crater.
251A INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE. (PREVIOUSLY SC. 250)
GERALD and PALADIN stand, watch as the massive ship lifts up. OBUTU works on a shattered console. Blair and Deveraux wait.
Prepare a drone. Input the Kilrathi jump coordinates. Send it through the Charybdis Quasar to Admiral Tolwyn.
They should be able to target the exact location of the Kilrathi jump entry. It'll be over before they can get their weapons on line.
Obutu bangs at the console.
If Tolwyn's there, Mr. Gerald. If he's there.
Sir, we have a problem. Drones are off line. Executive over-ride.
Sansky. Without those coordinates, Tolwyn doesn't have a chance and we're too big to slip past the Kilrathi and warn the fleet.
We'll have to send a fighter through.
Impossible. There are over a thousand singularities in that Quasar. To jump it would be suicide without NAVCOM coordinates.
We don't need a NAVCOM, Mr. Gerald. Blair, you will navigate the Quasar. Lt. Commander Deveraux will follow your lead.
BLAIR looks at Paladin.
It's statistically impossible, sir.
We don't have another option, sir.
You have the gift.
BLAIR fingers for his cross. Except it's not there. HE shakes his head.
I don't have the faith.
It's not faith. It's genetics. It's the capacity to feel magnetic fields. But if you believe you need faith...
PALADIN reaches into his tunic, pulls a cross from under his vest--a Pilgrim Cross. GERALD reacts.
HE tosses the cross to Blair. BLAIR looks at it.
Why didn't you tell me?
You didn't ask.
Two men's eyes hold for a long time.
Long range scanners are picking up Kilrathi ships, sir. Looks like a destroyer and a cruiser.
We'll create the diversion. Get those coordinates to Tolwyn.
252 INT. TIGER CLAW - FLIGHT DECK
the flight line. He stops when he hears a familiar voice: Hunter's:
BLAIR turns to Hunter, ready for a confrontation.
I heard what you did on that Kilrathi ship. We all heard. I was wrong.
HUNTER extends a hand. BLAIR nods, takes it. As BLAIR walks down the flight line, each surviving member of the wing nods to him, shakes his hand. BLAIR stops by Maniac. MANIAC smiles. BLAIR's about to speak when Maniac holds up a hand.
Don't say anything. I want to remember you pretty face just like this. See you on the other side, bro.
He bangs fists with Blair, and BLAIR swings into his cockpit. Canopy lowers. Both fighters are firing t heir engines up. Sound is deafening. Both salute the deck officer...
253 EXT. TIGER CLAW
Blair and Deveraux's fighters launch into the void, swing left towards the asteroid fields the Tiger Claw turning to the right.
Further out: Empty space... Then a long, large missile with a warhead materializes as if from nowhere. It adjusts course, AIMS AT THE TIGER CLAW in the distance, vanishes. MOVED: Now follows scene 256
SC. 254 OMIT
255 INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE - MOVED: Now follows scene 256 as above
A loud klaxon goes off.
I have a bogie, vector 197 mark 3....Now it's gone.
It's a Skipper missile. We only pick it up when it de-cloaks to take a radar fix. Estimated time till impact?
Nine minutes, sir.
256 INT. RAPIER COCKPITS - BLAIR & DEVERAUX
The two pilots streak into the blackness of space.
I've got a strong signal, at ten o'clock. Now it's vanished.
It's a skipper missile. Shit. The only thing that can kill it is a star fighter in visual contact.
And with that Deveraux banks hard right.
Hey, what are you doing?
Stay on course. Get through that jump point!
What about our orders? Angel? Angel?
257 INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE
Our shields are too weak to take a direct hit.
It's in Blair and Deveraux's hands now.
258 EXT. SPACE - SKIPPER MISSILE - MOVED: Now precedes scene 257
The Skipper missile "cloaks" in, re-adjusts it’s course one more time and then disappears... A moment later, Deveraux's Rapier appears, afterburners kicking in, and streaking after the now invisible missile.
259 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - DEVERAUX
Her HEADS UP DISPLAY shows nothing.
260 THROUGH COCKPIT PLEXIGLASS
The Skipper missile de-cloaks and reappears, slightly off to her right. She veers, FIRING HER LASER CANNONS.
The Skipper once again "CLOAKS" AND VANISHES, but Deveraux continues to lead it, FIRING ALONG ITS TRAJECTORY.
Angel! You're too close! Back off!
Suddenly, there is a FLASH OF FIRE, and the Skipper de- cloaks and reappears, SPINNING LIKE A CORKSCREW, BREAKING UP. Deveraux banks hard and veers away.
261 EXT. SPACE - SKIPPER MISSILE
Moments later, the Skipper missile EXPLODES, throwing an eerie, visible shock wave that CATCHES DEVERAUX'S RAPIER.
262 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - DEVERAUX
The Rapier begins coming apart. Deveraux EJECTS!
263 EXT. SPACE - BLAIR's RAPIER
...slowly approaches the debris of the destroyed Rapier, and FIRES RETRO JETS, as it pulls alongside the tumbling ejection pod. Retros fire on the pod, stabilizing it.
Blair's cockpit is only yards from Deveraux in the pod. They look at each other across the void.
264 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - BLAIR
tiny point of light that is the Tiger Claw.
You got it.
265 INTERCUT BETWEEN BLAIR AND DEVERAUX'S COCKPITS.
It got me.
Hang on. I'm going to tractor you back to the ship.
No! Go on. We can't both disobey orders.
You'll be out of air in an hour. You're going back to the ship.
You disobey my direct order and I'll have you court-martialed.
Like I care.
Then care about the billions who are going to die if the fleet doesn't get the Kilrathi jump coordinates.
Blair falls silent. She knows she's won. Their faces are only feet apart, separated by the cockpits.
You've gotta go. You know that.
(choking with emotion)
You're all right, Angel. I guess you know that...
She smiles ruefully, then pulls her glove off and puts a hand on the Plexiglass.
You, too, Chris.
There is a last moment... then Blair fires his retros and eases slowly away from her as she watches. A last look, and Blair ignites his engines. The Rapier streaks away. The back wash rocks Deveraux's pod. She's already cold, and begins to shiver.
266 INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE
No sign of the Skipper missile. One of the Rapiers must have shot it down.
Where are they now? - MOVED: Now follows scene 252
One continuing on course... and one beacon signal from an ejection pod....
Kilrathi ships are closing.
So what now?
What now, Mister Gerald? Now we make the Kilrathi on those ships sorry they were ever born!
The klaxons sound, and people jump to their stations on the bridge.
267 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - BLAIR
Through the canopy, he can just see the Kilrathi cruiser and a destroyer moving slowly through the asteroid field. When they pass, he ignites his engines, and blasts away, weaving around asteroids as he goes.
SC. 268 OMIT
269 INT. TIGER CLAW - FLIGHT DECK
Maniac sits in his Rapier, salutes the deck control officer, and blasts into space.
270 INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE - Moved: Now follows scene 283
All fighters away.
Kilrathi cruiser and destroyer are in missile range. They're launching.
Open fire, Mister Gerald.
Aye, aye, sir.
All batteries, fire as she bears!
They watch as missiles flair out into space.
271 INT. EJECTION POD - DEVERAUX - MOVED: Along with 270, Now follows scene 283
The reflection of the great battle flashes on the Plexiglass as Deveraux watches.
REVERRSE ANGLE: The great ships are like tiny toys, t he fighters specks of light as they corkscrew and plunge. The blackness is illuminated with lasers and torpedoes exploding against the shields. The Kilrathi destroyer TAKES A TORPEDO IN ITS STERN, catches fire, begins to drift.
DEVERAUX shivers in the cold, her breath condensing on the Plexiglass. She wipes the mist away, breathing with difficulty, and continues to watch.
SC. 272 - 273 OMIT
274 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - BLAIR
Blair is watching his heads up display intently. Behind it, is the swirling, angry mass of the Charybdis Quasar.
Merlin, check my coordinates.
(voice only)Coordinates A-okay, boss. Three minutes to jump.
Firing jump drive.
He flicks a switch. There is an enormous six g jolt.
275 EXT. BLAIR's RAPIER
The fighter transforms into a streak of light.
276 EXT. TIGER CLAW & KILRATHI CRUISER
The two ships are in close proximity, now, firing weapons, trying to batter down each others shields.
277 INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE
The Kilrathi cruiser is clearly visible coming head on.
What tac, sir?
Steady on, Mister Gerald. Make them be the first to blink.
Through the bridge windows, The Kilrathi cruiser appears larger and larger.
SC. 278 OMIT
279 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - BLAIR
The Rapier begins to shimmy and shake.
Ninety seconds to Jump point. Butyou're drifting off course.
The quasar's gravity is affecting you. Shut up, or I'll shut you off.
The Rapier begins t o shake like it's going to come apart.
280 EXT. BEHIND JOVIAN PLANET MOON - MOVED: Now follows scene 275
The Kilrathi admiral's flagship, the Snakeir, fires its massive ion engines and d rifts from behind the shadow of the moon.
281 INT. SNAKEIR - BRIDGE - MOVED: Along with 280, now follows 275
The murky green atmosphere allows only silhouettes as Kilrathi move about. The Kilrathi Captain approaches the Admiral's chair.
A manned Confederation fighter is approaching the quasar jump p point, Admiral. We're not in position to intercept.
He's going to warn the Confed fleet of our jump coordinates. Follow him. Instruct all ships to mark our course and follow us through. Sixty second intervals.
SC. 282 OMIT
283 EXT. SNAKEIR - MOVED: Along with 280 and 281, now follows scene 275
The giant ship turns, and accelerates, following a distant speck of light... Blair's Rapier.
284 EXT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE
She's changing course!
Mister Gerald, prepare to lower our shield. Starboard missile battery, prepare to fire!
Sir, the missile guidance systems won't activate at this range.
They won't need to. Arm warheads.
285 INT. TIGER CLAW - MISSILE ROOM
Men and women lock and load missiles, preparing to fire.
286 INT. TIGER CLAW - FLIGHT DECK
Peterson and his crew brace themselves.
287 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - BLAIR - MOVED: Now follows scene 279
The shaking is infernal.
Light speed mach point eight two. Twenty seconds to jump. Can you do it?
(Distorted by the shaking.)
Only one way to find out.(Closes his eyes.)
Coordinates: 1 7 2 9 4 mark 3 3 4 3 vector 4 4 2 7 1 angle of attack 6 3 9 5 6 1 by 3 2 4 9....
HE closes his eyes.
288 EXT. TIGER CLAW & KILRATHI CRUISER
The Kilrathi pour cannon fire onto the Tiger Claw's shield as the two great ships come abreast of each other.
289 INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE
The ship is rocking with shock waves.
Lower shields. Give 'em a broadside, Mister Gerald.
290 INT. TIGER CLAW - TORPEDO ROOM
The missile room crew, fire their salvo, even as they are rocked by explosions from the cannon fire.
291 EXT. MANIAC's RAPIER
upside down to avoid the fireball. Then he s tares at the sight below him.
And they say I'm crazy.
292 EXT. TIGER CLAW AND KILRATHI CRUISER
A DOZEN GUIDED MISSILES streak from the Tiger Claw's battery as they bear on the cruiser, each striking the cruiser, piercing the shield, and EXPLODING AGAINST THE HULL!
A missile finds the Kilrathi bridge and destroys it. The cruiser rolls over and "capsizes" as its stern clears the devastating field of fire...
The Tiger Claw pulls clear as the Kilrathi ship is SHATTERED BY A SERIES OF EXPLOSIONS, finally disintegrating in the void.
293 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - BLAIR
continues to spout numbers: 4, 7, 5, 5, 3, 9, 9...as MERLIN counts down the seconds to jump.
Five seconds to jump. Four, three, two.
Suddenly, time and motion stop. All is silence.
294 INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE & VARIOUS STATIONS - MOVED: Now follows scene 292
As one, officers and crew of the Tiger Claw scream, cheer, hug one another.
294A EXT. EARTH'S SOLAR SYSTEM
Placid, calm. We can clearly see our system's nine planets, with Earth, blue, lush, alive...vulnerable, spinning in the distance.
Suddenly, a blinding flash of light, and Blair's Rapier appears, blasts past us, jump drive engines glowing.
SC. 295 OMIT
296 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - BLAIR
Blair is ecstatic.
We did it! We did it! I love this baby! She held together.
I'm not sure I did.
Blair flicks his radio switch.
Lieutenant Christopher Blair of the Tiger Claw calling any Confed Ship. A Kilrathi battle group has the Charybdis jump coordinates. They will breach at 167 mark 889, Sol system. Repeat, 167 mark 889, Sol system. Do you read?
Check your frequencies for any sign of the Confed fleet.
Nothing. Wait a minute. Check behind us.
Space, where Blair had been a moment before: A second, bigger, flash of light and the gigantic Snakeir appears through the warp in the time space continuum.
Kilrathi capital ship... Snakeir class They came through the jump point.
SC. 297 OMIT
298 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - BLAIR
Blair pounds the instrument panel in frustration.
Shit! We're too late!
299 EXT. CONCORDIA - BEHIND PLUTO
The giant carrier gleams in the dull reflection from the planet. In the distance, other fleet ships hover silently.
300 INT. CONCORDIA - BRIDGE
Bellegarde approaches Tolwyn.
Com. room reports faint message in clear from a Lieutenant Blair. He's broadcasting the Kilrathi jump coordinates.
Blair? Like father, like son.
Should we respond, sir?
Identifying Confed Rapier, heading toward Earth at LSM point nine. He's being followed by something massive, Admiral. Looks like a Snakeir.
Permission to intercept it, Admiral?
No. We wait.
The Snakeir will overtake Blair's fighter.
Sir, if we don't intercept, the Snakeir will reach earth orbit before us. The casualties could be significant.
I'm bloody well aware of that, Richard. All ships are to hold their positions and target those jump coordinates.
If we jump him, we'd be out of position when the Kilrathi fleet comes through...
We're after bigger game than the Snakeir. We need a resounding victory, or this war is over...
For that, I have to risk the lives of innocent civilians and one very brave young lieutenant...
301 EXT. BLAIR'S RAPIER
The Rapier streaks past. Well behind it, a large object is following, the Kilrathi Snakeir.
SC. 302 OMIT
303 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - BLAIR
Blair keeps trying to raise someone on the radio.
Blair to Confed Fleet. Do you read me? Kilrathi capital ship has penetrated the quasar jump point and is in Earth space. Copy!
Finally, he gives up.
The aren't in radio range. Earth will never see the Kilrathi coming.
I knew this was all going to end horribly... Did I mention we'll be in range of the Snakeir guns in ten minutes.
At least they can't launch torpedoes atthis speed.
There is a LOUD RHYTHMIC BEEPING. Blair sits up, scans his heads up display.
There! Dead ahead. It's the fleet signaling. They've heard us! Blair to Confed fleet. Kilrathi capital ship on my course, aft of my position! Confed fleet, do you read me?
But the beeping continues, louder. Blair stares at the screen.
Only one ship. But it's huge.
It isn't a ship. Check your scanners.
Blair turns on his telescopic scanner. Space shimmers, then he sees the warning beacon marking Scylla, t he gravity well the Diligent negotiated on its way to the Tiger Claw. Behind it, space seems to shimmer.
All we need, Scylla. "Bane to sailors and monster of myth."</span
304 EXT. TIGER CLAW - ULYSSES CORRIDOR
Amidst the debris of the battle, the Tiger Claw with its meager fighter escort changes course.
305 INT. TIGER CLAW - BRIDGE
Obutu reports to Paladin.
We're hove to for repair inspection, sir.
What about that locator beacon from the Rapier pod
Nothing sir. Lost contact during the battle.
We've lost too many good pilots today. Have the Diligent prepared for launch. I'm going to look for that pod.
Aye, aye, sir.
Paladin grimly walks from the b ridge.
306 EXT. BLAIR'S RAPIER - MOVED: Now follows scene 303
The Rapier, seen from behind, is still on course toward Scylla. Not very far behind it, the immense Snakeir.
307 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - BLAIR - MOVED: Along with 306, now follows 303
Blair sweats over the controls. There is an urgent alarm jangling his nerves further.
In case the alarms didn't cue you -- you'll be past the Point of No Return of Scylla in ninety seconds. It's gravitational field will tear us to pieces.
Solutions, Merlin! Not more problems.
Blair blinks hard at the scanner scope and the large, swirling whirlpool of distorted space-time ahead. Then it dawns on him.
How much does a Snakeir weigh?
Two hundred thousand tons, give or takea few thousand.
Blair does a quick calculation, then flips on the afterburners. Another flashing WARNING LIGHT immediately illuminates on his heads up screen, as he is thrown back in his seat.
What are you doing? The after burners will use up our last fuel. And we're still headed for that thing...
308 INT. SNAKEIR - BRIDGE
The Kilrathi Captain reports to the Admiral.
Planetary torpedoes online. We will be in range in forty minutes. There is no response to the Rapier's transmissions. Sivar smiles on us. The surprise is total.
KILRATHI RADAR TECH growls his report.
An alarm goes off. Through the dense green atmosphere, A
The Rapier is homing in on a beacon signal. It could be a Confederation guidance buoy.
Or a capital ship. Identify and report. Full battle stations.
Other alarms go off in the Kilrathi ship. On the Admiral's INFRARED MONITOR, he watches the Rapier--a tiny speck-- head for the bacon.
308A INT. EJECTION POD - DEVERAUX
Deveraux is quickly freezing to death. In the far distance a light appears. Deveraux doesn't notice it as the Ejection Pod's window are almost completely iced over. Deveraux slowly locates the Pod's self destruction switch. She gently places her hand over it.
309 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - BLAIR
It seems like half the alarm systems in the cockpit are buzzing or flashing. Blair's concentration is total, his face dripping with sweat.
Kilrathi radar locked on. Ten seconds to the Point of No Return... and you're almost out of fuel. You won't be able to turn.
Give me a count.
Blair jerks the joystick hard right.
310 EXT. BLAIR's RAPIER
Banks hard, afterburners glowing and roaring, and veers away from Scylla.
311 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - BLAIR
We're not going to break free of the gravity well! We don't have enough fuel!
Actually, I lied.
You've got ten more seconds of thrust.
The Rapier shimmies like a tuning fork, engines roaring. Then, with a last jerk, she hurtles free of the gravity well's gravitational pull.
312 EXT. BLAIR's RAPIER
The fighter rockets away at a ninety degree angle from Scylla.
313 INT. SNAKEIR - BRIDGE
The Admiral continues to peer at his scanners.
The Rapier has veered away. Confederation ship, dead ahead.
That isn't a ship! Hard to port! Reverse all thrusters!
314 EXT. SNAKEIR
The lone ship tries to turn, but she has far too much inertia TO VEER AWAY FROM SYCLLA, as the tiny Rapier has done.
315 INT, RAPIER COCKPIT - BLAIR
Blair's engines sputter and die.
We're out of fuel.
He looks back at the Snakeir.
The Kilrathi's too heavy. Scylla's got her.
316 INT. SNAKEIR - BRIDGE
The bridge, still shrouded in its murky atmosphere, is listing. Scylla, her great shimmering maw glistening in space, appears on the starboard side.
All engines full!
The engine noise raises to a deafening roar, but the great ship continues to drift toward Scylla. The Admiral realizes all is lost.
But Sivar chose us...
Every object in the Kilrathi bridge begins to warp and distort. The Kilrathi, mere silhouettes in the murk, are themselves stretched, and pulled, screeching in pain and horror.
317 EXT. SNAKEIR AND SCYLLA
The Kilrathi ship is pulled completely around, then seems to STRETCH, THEN CRACK, AND PULL APART, forming A LONG DEBRIS TRAIL that extends toward the gravity well.
318 EXT. EARTH'S SOLAR SYSTEM - JUMP POINT
From nowhere, a huge Fralthi appears. But several moments later, it receives DIRECT HITS from a dozen cannon blasts.
REVERSE ANGLE: The Confed fleet, in attack formation, launches A HALF- DOZEN TORPEDOES. The powerful cannon fire pummels the Kilrathi ship before it can react.
RESUME JUMP POINT: The Kilrathi carrier breaks apart, and explodes. A second, smaller ship appears. It too is destroyed in the ambush.
SC. 319 - 320 OMIT
321 EXT. CONCORDIA - SOLAR SYSTEM / JUMP POINT
The great ship seems surrounded by a fireworks display as it fires torpedoes and missiles, and uses its massive cannon array.
322 INT. CONCORDIA - BRIDGE
Bellegarde approaches Tolwyn, who watches grimly.
The Kilrathi fleet is coming through the jump point one ship at a time, Admiral. They have no chance to defend themselves or warn the ships behind.
And the Snakeir?
She's disappeared from our scanners.
Launch two Rapier wings and a squadron of Broadswords. We've got to find her.
Aye, aye, sir.
EXT. BLAIR's RAPIER
The darkened fighter tumbles slowly through space. Off, way in the distance we can see Earth. Safe, at least for now.
324 INT. RAPIER COCKPIT - BLAIR
All the instruments are dark. Blair trembles violently.
Hey, you were right all along.
Merlin appears in hologram.
Merlin has a change of character -- a sudden burst compassion in his circuitry.
Don't say that. You're a fighter. So fight! We're going to make it.
Cold got to you Merlin? You sound downright optimistic.
Let's just call it intuition...
Suddenly, the Rapier is jolted.
What the hell...?
325 EXT. RAPIER & BROADSWORD
A Broadsword bomber has captured the drifting Rapier in its tractor beam.
Or a working array of scanners.
A strong spotlight illuminates Blair inside the cockpit. As Blair looks up, the bomber pilot salutes him. With badly trembling hand, Blair grins and returns the salute.
325A EXT. TIGER CLAW - EARTH SPACE
The battered old lady pulls into low earth orbit, joining the rest of the Confed fleet -- the blue planet spinning gracefully below her.
SC. 326 - 329 OMIT
329A INT. BRIDGE - CONCORDIA
Tolwyn looks out through the windows -- we can see the Tiger Claw -- and Earth.
Blair comes on deck, looking very tattered himself.
He salutes Tolwyn. Tolwyn offers his hand and smiles.
Your father would have been pound.
Blair takes his hand.
I have something for you.
Blair takes Tolwyn's Ring from his pocket and hands it to Tolwyn.
Sansky asked me to return it.
Tolwyn takes the ring. Behind the mask of command we can see the memories of past battles - friends and enemies lost.
The wounds of civil war run deep. Hewas a good captain despite everything.
Did they locate Lt. Cmdr Deveraux?
Paladin went out to search for her. We haven't heard from him since the Tiger Claw arrived in Earth space.
The comm chirps.
The Diligent reporting. Commodore Taggart requesting permission to land on the Tiger Claw, sir.
Bellegarde is listening to the transmission.
Is she with him?
Lt. Cmdr Deveraux is on board.
I knew she'd make it!
Taggart is requesting an emergency medical team to meet him on the flight deck immediately.
I'm sorry. The rest of the transmission got cut off as they entered the TigerClaw's air lock.
Tolwyn looks at Blair .
I think you're on the wrong ship.
Blair salutes and leaves. Fast.
329Aa EXT. TIGER CLAW
Blair's Rapier is on it's final approach. It blasts through the airlock.
329B INT. FLIGHT DECK- TIGER CLAW
Deveraux. The medical team rush over to them. Paladin places Deveraux on an emergency gurney. The medical team furiously starts to work on her. Maniac and Gerald are all ready there.
Blair runs up, watching in horror as they medical team tries their best to revive her.
You made it!
Blair looks over to Paladin who looks very somber.
Pure luck that I found her at all. She must have turned off her beacon so as not to tip off the Kilrathi. Brave girl.
The Medical team continues to work on her. Blair drops to a knee to get right beside her. Maniac puts a comforting hand on Blair's shoulder. Gerald and Paladin exchange a
Come on, Angel. Come back. Don't you die on me.
Blair clutches her hand.
Come on, angel.
I got a pulse!
Deveraux starts to cough a bit. Her eyes begin to open. She looks up at Blair. She doesn't look good but she manages to smile.
What did you say?
I said don't you die on me.
Is that a suggestion or an order?
Blair manages a small laugh.
That's a definite order.
Blair goes in for the kiss. The Medic stops him.
We have to get her down to sick bay.
We stopped the Kilrathi.
They'll be back. The only question is when.
We'll be ready for them this time, sir. No more surprises.
Maybe it's just me, but I didn't think they were all that tough.
Blair, Gerald, and Paladin all exchange a look.
What? I mean it.
They all break up laughing.
The CAMERA pulls back, our heroes gathered around Deveraux's gurney, sharing this moment of victory and relief as people go about their business on the flight deck.