Blake’s 7 [Redux] // S01E09 – Project Avalon

blake's 7 bot on Twitter: "Blake's 7 Series A, Episode 09 - Project Avalon  BLAKE: [To the guard] Right, remember to do exactly as I told you. And  remember there are two

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EXT: SOMEWHERE IN WALES, NOVEMBER

Travis stands around on an icy planet, in arctic clothing, his face unprotected.

Off-screen, the vampire crew member from Episode 8 is escorted out of the building for refusing to change in the female changing room, and replaced by a new actress.

She puts on the black S&M suit and approaches Travis.

‘Sir, we have located their position.’

‘Any guards?’

‘One. But he often turns his back so we should be able to subdue him.’

‘Good. Go and do that.’

‘What about you, Sir?’

‘I’m going back to the set canteen. Call me when you’re ready.’

The vamp turns to leave, pauses then rotates back.

‘What is it?’

‘I don’t want to speak out of place, Sir, but…’

‘You think my plan is convoluted.’

‘A bit.’

‘You’re afraid that I’m becoming one note…always relying on traps instead of being more offensive.’

‘It’s not that, Sir. I just don’t understand why we can’t shoot Blake when he comes to the cave.’

‘It will be explained in later dialogue.’

‘Yes, I’ve read the script. But why don’t we make a Blake robot and send that back to the Liberator? Then we can either catch or kill the real one when he comes here.’

Travis rubs his eyepatch, glances at the director.

‘Rant…’ mouths the director.

Travis nods. ‘Blake…I despise him, I will kill him, I will talk about him in my sleep…I will have him pushed into new galaxies and kill him there too…call his house at weird hours, label him a peasant, threaten his perm…’

‘Sir, are you okay?’

‘No, my face is cold. I’m going to the canteen. Go do your duty.’

‘Yes, Sir.’

‘And don’t read scenes that you aren’t in.’

The vamp looks confused, then shrugs and walks off.

 

CUT TO – LIBERATOR

Blake sits on the couch, flanked by Gan and Yaphet Kotto. The rest of the crew is doing all the technical stuff.

‘I looked over your engine room,’ says Yaphet, checking a clipboard, ‘and made some notes.’

‘We have an engine room?’ asks Blake, surprised.

‘The main problem you have is…there’s no plasma being created…and there’s no converter for it to pass through even if you did have some…’

‘Do we really need any of that?’

‘If you want your ship to move, yeah.’

‘Our ship moves just fine,’ says Gan, trying to sit up straighter than Yaphet. ‘Jenna presses a button, Zen says standard by some number, we move.’

‘That makes no sense.’

Blake folds his arms. ‘It’s an alien ship, Yaphet.’

‘But…how does it work?’

‘We have mastered the art of piloting…’

Yaphet looks off screen, at the scriptwriter.

‘And we have a teleporter,’ says Gan.

‘Yeah, I made some notes on that too.’ Yaphet checks his clipboard. ‘Now, the basic premise…there’s some element or material that can dematerialise you…break the atomic bonds…only without using extreme temperatures to do it…then rematerialize you on a planet…without any kind of equipment or confinement beam…’

‘You’re overthinking…’ says Gan, shaking his head.

Blakes nods. ‘There’s a white outline, we vanish, we go to a quarry, we reappear. It’s really that simple.’

‘Shit…’ says Yaphet, putting his clipboard down.

‘Just relax…chill on the couch with Gan…read the paper…we’ll call you when we contractually need you.’

‘He has a contract?’ asks Gan, anxious.

‘Cash in hand, brother,’ replies Yaphet.

‘How much cash?’

‘500 dollars.’

Gan’s eyes explode. ‘500? I’m on 2 quid a gurn. And I have to supply my own costume.’

Blake pats Gan on the head. ‘Don’t whine, big man. Small TV roles lead to bigger TV roles, lead to movies. Now, the plot…who’s this Avalon woman? What’s she doing in my show?’

Jenna points at the main screen, which has the ice planet in view. ‘She’s a rebel leader who lives in a cave. Young, supple, willing to dress down…’

‘Ah, did they give her the nipple gown from the last episode?’ asks Blake.

‘Something worse.’

‘From whose perspective?’

‘Halfway through the episode, she will be forced to lie on her back with two silver straps covering her breasts and genitalia. The cameraman will stand back, crouch and shoot almost directly down her front. Knickers have yet to be confirmed.’

Blake, Vila, Avon , Gan, Callie and Yaphet stare forward, semi-vacant.

‘We will be ready to teleport down in one hour.’

‘Okay…’ says Blake, standing up and clapping his hands together. ‘Let’s get on with this…’

‘One hour,’ repeats Jenna.

‘Yes, but we need to prepare…’

‘Prepare what?’

Blake tilts his head left, taking his perm with it.

Jenna assumes he won’t answer and continues. ‘It’s better if everyone just sits on the couch. Callie and I will handle the orbiting sequence.’

‘I thought Zen does that?’ asks Gan.

‘It’s difficult to say. All I know is…each time I stand here and move this stick forward, we go into orbit.’

‘Well, okay then…’ says Blake, ‘as long as you’re standing there, it means you can’t be fucking Yaphet.’

‘Sorry?’

‘I’ve seen the way you look at each other, and I don’t like it.’

‘We’re friends…’

‘I like to keep an ascetic vibe on my ship.’

‘You do?’ asks Vila, shoving his way into the scene.

‘No sex between the main cast, only with guest stars.’

Jenna folds her arms. ‘Did that apply when you tried to show me how to pin someone on the ground?’

‘Self-defence class. Vital for dissidents.’

‘You dry humped me for half a minute…’

‘I don’t remember that.’

‘It happened.’

‘Ah, that was a different time, a different me, a different social climate etc.’ Blake looks at his wrist, even though there is no watch. ‘Let’s sit on the couch, forget the current conversation. Yaphet, how are you finding your quarters? Cosy enough?’

‘I’ve been staying with Callie, man.’

‘What?’

Callie nods, putting her head on Yaphet’s shoulder. ‘I find it sexy when he criticises the science of the show…’

‘But he’s only been here one episode…’

‘When lust calls…’

‘…and all he does is complain. And sit there like a big lump.’

‘I would like to point out that I have done little in this episode so far…’ said Avon. ‘Perhaps someone can call me a machine…or say something optimistic that I can shoot down…’

‘Can’t believe this is happening…’ mutters Blake.

‘There’s always Avalon…’ says Vila.

‘Yes…you’re right. Avalon.’ Blake’s eyes light up then dim almost right away. ‘But the semi-nude scene is with Travis, on the federation base. By the time we get there, she’ll be in the winter jacket again.’

‘That is tricky…’ says Vila.

‘Avon, this is a job for you. Sort it out.’

‘I’m busy.’

‘Doing what?’

‘Playing squash with Yaphet.’

Blake says ‘raaar’ in frustration. ‘On my ship, my ship…this is…half an episode and he’s…it’s my ship…mine…’

 

CUT TO – WELSH CAVE, VERY COLD

The vamp officer is rubbed down by several male crew members, officially to warm her up for her scene, unofficially, cos it’s the 70’s. One of them attempts to move up her thigh, but is stopped by the director.

‘It’s 1978, not 1972.’

‘Prude.’

The vamp puts her jacket back on and goes up to the higher ground of the cave. The guard moves into position, turning his back to the most obvious point of attack and staring at a wall.

‘Now, jump!’ whispers the director.

The vamp officer jumps, lands on the guard and chokes him to death while he tries desperately to grope her tits.

When the director yells cut, she punches down hard.

‘Wait…’ shouts the director, ‘we need to do it again.’

‘Sorry, I couldn’t help it.’

‘Bloody women…’ whines the guard, rubbing his cheek. ‘No control of their emotions.’

She punches him seven more times.

The crew drag him off-set and the director tells the vamp officer to just pretend to strangle the ground, they’ll shoot her face only.

The scene plays again, without sexual assault.

‘Well done, everyone,’ says the director, standing up and addressing the whole cave. ‘Remember, if you’re tempted to grope someone, imagine another man doing the same thing to your sister, or your daughter, or your grandma.’

‘I don’t have a daughter…’ mutters one of the crew.

‘My sister’s a dog…’ says another.

‘I’m perfectly capable of distinguishing between my family members and slutty whores who want it really.’

The last line was a little too loud, but no one does anything about it cos it’s Steve J, the guy who designs all the costumes. Where would they be without him?

‘Okay, people, let’s head over to the next cave,’ says the director. ‘Steve, we’re short one guy for the massacre scene, you up for it?’

‘Long as I don’t get put in the water.’

‘Course not.’

 

CUT TO – OTHER CAVE

The rebels shuffle around, clearly freezing, waiting for Travis and his vamp soldiers to turn up.

They turn up, holding guns.

‘Well, well…a rebel base in one of Wales most overrated tourist attractions.’

Terry Nation coughs off-screen.

Travis tries again. ‘Well, well…a rebel base so close to our own Federation base. What a daring move. But I shouldn’t be surprised…rebels are always resilient and fit. Tell me, how many of you male rebels lift weights?’

Terry Nation coughs again.

‘No one brave enough to speak up, huh? Very well. Vamp team, strip search everyone, start with the athletic ones.’

Terry Nation gives up on coughing and tells Travis directly to say his proper lines.

‘What, like last time…being pushed into another galaxy…’

‘The line, Travis.’

Travis grunts. ‘Which one of you is Avalon?’

None of the rebels moves or speaks.

‘Look, I assume you’ve all heard about the silver strap costume…don’t be afraid, we’ve got rid of that now.’

The rebels murmur among themselves.

‘It’s true, we hired a female designer. The collar alone is practically glued to the chin. Trust me. No part of your breasts will be exposed.’

The rebels murmur a little more.

‘Your snatch, however…’

‘Travis…’ shouts the director.

‘I know, I know…’ He folds his arms. ‘Knickers will be provided. We have already sent someone to the Salvation Army, they should be back well before the scene is shot…satisfied?’

One of the rebels steps forward. ‘I am Avalon.’

‘You look oddly young. Are you sure?’

‘Yes.’

Travis gestures towards his vamps. ‘Grab her and finish the rest.’

The vamps do as they’re told, shooting the rebels with smoke guns. Some of them die with subtlety, others leap in the air, a few fall backwards into the water.

Steve J clutches his stomach and tries to crawl forward on the ground, but another extra grabs his feet and flings him into the pool. It’s not seen on camera, but his face is scraped against the ground, causing great pain and zero reflection. Already in his head is an idea for a tripwire bikini.

 

CUT TO – LATER ON IN THE SAME CAVE

Blake arrives with Jenna, they both take a quick look around, check one of the bodies and declare that everyone is dead.

A wounded survivor aims his gun at them, but the shot holds so long that he drops his arm due to fatigue.

‘Blake, look…a red herring,’ says Jenna running over.

‘What happened here?’

‘Murder, acrobatics, unrealistic promises…’

‘Who did this?’ asks Jenna.

‘Federation.’

‘We have to get out of here before they come back,’ says Blake. ‘Can you walk?’

‘No…I don’t even have the energy to squeeze her ass.’

‘Fine, we’ll carry you out.’

‘It’s too far…’

‘Relax, we’ve got a teleporter, the only one in the galaxy.’

The man’s eyebrows shoot up. ‘Incredible! You’ve managed to convert matter to energy and back again, and encode all the information contained within DNA into one confined beam?’

‘You’re overthinking it…’ says Blake, glancing at Jenna.

‘We press some buttons, and push a switch forward.’

‘It’s very intuitive…’

The man lowers his eyebrows, deflated.

‘Don’t lower your eyebrows, it’s a teleporter…it still works, whatever’s going on inside of it.’

‘Very well, you may carry me.’

Blake leaves the task to Jenna, who offers her hand.

‘How about I drape my arm over your shoulder?’ asks the man. ‘Then flick your nipples with my fingertips?’

‘Cut…’ says the director, walking over. ‘This is the BBC, not a brothel, try and keep your hands off the women.’

‘But…the convenience…’

‘Try or we’ll recast.’

The man looks at Blake for help, who stares back at him with pity, saying, ‘it’s 1978, brother.’

‘Very well, I will adapt.’

‘Good.’

‘And take it out on my wife later.’

The director frowns.

 

CUT TO – FEDERATION BASE

Travis tells his vamp officer to find a young specimen from the cells to experiment on.

‘What if I can’t find one?’

‘Then arrest someone and bring them.’

‘Understood.’

Travis pulls her back. ‘Actually, bring two.’

She nods, puzzled and walks off. Travis lives out a four second ‘master tortured by rebel’ sex fantasy then moves to another part of the room, where Avalon is strapped to a futuristic rack, the costume sleazy, the promised female designer a myth.

‘Are you comfortable?’ asks Travis.

Avalon looks at the rack operator, a man, and then the rest of the crew, men. Strangely, there are also a lot of federation guards in the scene, two of them giants, one of them barely containing a giant perm.

‘You’ll never get any information out of me,’ she says, defiant.

‘I know.’

‘Then why tie me up like this?’

‘I think you know.’

Avalon looks down at her own body and then over at the guards, some of them bending down, trying to look between her thighs, while others are pretending to look somewhere else every time she catches their eyes.

‘What do you plan to do with me?’

Travis checks the script. ‘After one or two takes, we will copy your brain and…ah, I’m not supposed to reveal that.’

‘Travissssss.’

He spins round and sees Servelan plus two fascists glaring at him.

‘Ah, you’ve come, Supreme Commander.’

Servelan slinks over, examining Avalon, the rack, the abundance of guards. ‘Why is this woman strapped down like this?’

‘So we can copy her brain.’

‘Is her brain not in her head?’

‘Probably.’

‘Then why is she almost naked?’

‘The scriptwriter said she might be armed. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, the first draft called for one strap, across the hips…the logic, I believe, being that one strap halfway down the body would balance out possible resistance…assuming it also stretches across the wrists…’

‘There’s no need for rationalisations. As long as she’s not on our side, I don’t really care what she wears.’

‘Permission to remove straps,’ says one of the guards, excited.

‘Execute that man.’ Servelan moves back into the other part of the room. ‘Now, let’s talk about your plan. The Government, Council, Senate, whatever it’s called, wanted to relieve you of duty. Apparently, they saw footage of your New Forest debacle in episode 8 and decided a fresh pair of brains would do the trick.’

‘Grrr…I would’ve caught him if they’d stop tying my hands…’

‘Yes, I explained that to them.’

‘How can I catch Blake and his ship? How can anyone? He has a teleporter, his ship’s faster than any of ours, and now I hear he has two big lumps acting as his personal bodyguards…’

‘Yaphet Kotto….yes, I heard.’

‘He’s not even contracted…he just turns up and they pay him. I can’t deal with that kind of anarchy.’

‘I’d like to meet him someday.’

‘Who, Yaphet?’

‘They say he has a cock the size of a hockey stick. And says ‘brother’ a lot.’

‘He’s working with our mortal enemy…’

‘Perhaps we can design a costume for him, similar to young Avalon’s over there…’

‘Supreme Commander…’

Servelan blinks, pulling herself out of her fantasy. ‘I’m sorry, Travis. Sometimes I lose myself a little. But it’s okay, I’m playing a fascist, it would be strange if I didn’t want to strap big black men to racks. Besides, a hockey stick is far too long…it would reach up to my throat, I believe. And going downwards…I shudder to think.’

The director coughs, then nudges Terry Nation, who coughs too.

Servelan nods. ‘I’m sorry, Travis, I was possessed momentarily…perhaps by an alien force. I loathe sex. I love torture. Now, back to your plan.’

The vamp enters, bringing in two men, both harbouring mullets.

‘What is this?’ asks Servelan, walking over and stroking the taller man’s chest.

‘They are guinea pigs for the experiment.’

‘Ohhh…’ Servelan holds the chin of the taller man. ‘What is your name?’

‘Sila.’

‘Hmm, that sounds Slavic.’

‘Ja.’

‘They say Slavic men have cocks as thick as lampposts.’

‘No.’

‘How far off?’

Travis intervenes, carefully removing Servelan’s hand and guiding her to a viewing screen. He orders the vamp to put the smaller man in the death lab.

‘Ah, the new poison ball, very good.’

The smaller man is strapped in to a seat, fully clothed. Avalon lifts her neck up and looks over, swearing when she sees what he’s wearing. Next to her, Blake, Vila, Avon, Gan, Callie and Yaphet, all dressed as Federation guards, tell her to lie still, they’ll rescue her later.

‘Waa…you’re here! Rescue me now.’

‘We can’t, it’s not in the script.’

‘But you’re here now…’

‘Metaphysics,’ says Blake, shrugging.

‘What?’

‘Shhh…’ He puts his hand over her mouth. ‘Vila, stop touching her stomach…it’s 1978.’

‘But it’s so flat…’

‘Yaphet, Gan…’

The two brawlers grab Vila, Yaphet holding his arms back while Gan punches him in the gut. Callie watches, torn between Avalon’s straps and Yaphet’s shoulders. Eventually, she gives up and puts a hand on each.

‘Okay, he’s ready, the sfx crew’s ready…’ Travis puts a poison ball in…something. ‘Let’s do some fascism.’

The mullet man breathes in the poisonous air and morphs into a skeleton over five separate shots.

‘That actually looked quite decent…’ says Servelan.

‘Yeah, not bad.’

‘How long did it take to get the skeleton in there?’

’23 seconds.’

‘Great.’

‘So all we have to do is wait for Blake to rescue Avalon and…ah, that’s the twist, I can’t reveal that. Okay. Supreme Commander, you may go to your quarters now, I’ll call you when Blake is here.’

Servelan nods and walks off, taking the taller Slavic man by the hand as she goes.

‘I’m sorry, but I still need him,’ says Travis.

‘For what?’

‘Torture.’

‘What kind of torture?’

‘Generic.’ Travis walks over to the man, reclaiming him.

‘If I didn’t know better, Travis, I’d say you were gonna put him on that rack over there.’

‘That would be a misuse of Federation funds.’

‘If you say so.’

Servelan leaves, followed by two guards, leaving Travis and the Slavic man alone. He takes his hand and leads him over to the rack, leaning in to one of the guard’s ear.

‘When you’re done with her, get him kitted out.’

‘Sir.’

‘And make sure the strap goes horizontal.’

The guard nods.

 

CUT TO – THE LIBERATOR

The bridge is deserted.

Jenna is in her quarters, re-reading We Who Are About To… and crying at the same time, while the others are still on the Federation base.

There are whispers and then footsteps and then figures moving to the couch. It’s the younger members of the crew, some male, some female, all radicalised.

‘The way I see it is…’ begins one of them, ‘…the perm is 50-50, we can shame him into behaving better, or appeal to his homo-erotic side…Jenna and Callie are heroes, obviously, Yaphet is good on some issues, but has a conservative streak…who else…’

‘Avon is definitely on our side…’ says another.

‘I’m not so sure…’

‘He is. You can see it in his eyes.’

‘Seems a bit like a sociopath to me.’

‘Better than a sleaze…’

‘Granted. Okay, we’ll give Avon a pass. Vila…’

‘Fuck Vila.’

‘Agreed. The man’s a weasel.’

‘He’d say he’s with us just to get a fuck…’

‘Right.’

‘Gan…I don’t know. Sometimes I like him, but other times he pulls out the Sunday Sport.’

‘Too primitive…’

‘Simple…’

‘Exudes a northern peasant vibe…’

Half of the crew flinches, looking around at each other.

‘These cavemen need to know their place…’ says a posh guy.

‘Agreed,’ says a posh woman.

‘We better clear the set…they’ll be back soon,’ says one of the others, switching back to his real [Northern] accent.

The posh ones flinch, exchanging glances with each other.

‘Solidarity, brothers, sisters,’ says another Northerner.

‘We will prevail,’ adds another one.

‘Ya, absolutely.’

The posh half and the working class half get up and stand on opposite sides. Seeing the problem, they quickly integrate again, patting each other on the back, sure the problem is solved.

‘So this is where the party is…’ says the surviving rebel who tried to grope Jenna earlier, swaggering onto the bridge.

‘Script meeting, not a party,’ says one of the crew.

‘You all look like babies…’

‘We’re over 25.’

‘Hey, it was a compliment. For the ladies at least…how about we pour out some cocktails and get to know each other a little better…?’

‘No, thanks.’

‘Okay, how about you take your tops off and jiggle for me?’

‘What?’

‘Girls only, obviously.’

‘Animal…’

‘Hey, get to know each other better or jiggle, it’s your choice.’

‘Fucking dog…’

Before the scene can move on to assault and possible castration, Blake and co saunter in, still wearing their federation costumes.

‘Hey, hey, hey…’ says Vila, clapping his hands. ‘So this is where the party is…’

The crew walk past Vila, one of them spitting in his face.

‘That was brief,’ he says, wiping off phlegm.

‘Now, people…’ says Blake. ‘This is starting to drag on a bit. It’s time to get down there and rescue Avalon.’

‘But Blake…’ says Callie, taking her hand off Yaphet’s arm, ‘it’s clearly a trap.’

‘Doesn’t matter, we have Yaphet and Gan. What can they do?’

Gan nudges Yaphet in the side. ‘This is exciting, innit?’

‘What’s happening?’

‘We’re going back to the base, to rescue the girl they’re torturing…’

‘The stripper?’

‘And we’ll get to shoot guards. Chop the back of their necks too.’

‘Action scene? Man, I don’t have the energy for this shit.’

‘But it’s fun.’

‘Action makes me tired. I like fixing things. And sitting on that couch over there.’

Blake opens up his arms, telling everyone it’s time to do something theoretically suicidal cos that’s what Zapata would’ve done.

‘Do we all have to go?’ asks Vila.

‘No, it would be too cramped.’

‘I’ll stay here then,’ says Avon, putting his feet up on the couch and flipping to the first page of Prater Violet. ‘Call me if there’s any wrestling.’

‘Okay, Gan, Yaphet, massacre survivor, you’re with me. Vila, we need you to pick locks. Jenna, you too, in case Avalon is unnerved by a large group of men suddenly piling into her cell.’

‘Man, can I not just chill on the couch?’ asks Yaphet.

‘If you really have to,’ says Blake.

‘I do.’

‘However, I did overhear some of the guards talking about your bond villain…’

‘What’d you say?’

‘Yeah, they said you were bland…bland and fat…’

‘That ain’t the worst I’ve heard…’

‘…like a black Maggie Smith.’

‘Motherfuckers.’

 

CUT TO – FEDERATION BASE, PRISON SECTION

Travis gives Servelan a guided tour of the complex, which is about twenty cells in total, and stops outside Avalon’s cell.

‘Blake is in orbit so he should be here soon.’

‘Excellent.’

‘If the first part of my plan works, then the rest of it can’t possibly fail.’

‘I hope so for your sake, Travis.’ Servelan peers inside the cell window and pulls an ambivalent expression. ‘I have to admit…there are times when fascism does become a little cloudy.’

‘Supreme Commander?’

‘On some level, I appreciate seeing extras locked up, strong men being electrocuted, mullets reduced to skeletons. But on the other hand, I am also a sensualist. Earlier, when I talked of pornographic things…there are some in the Federation who are prudish about these sorts of things, puritanical even…it unsettles me. Sometimes, I wish I could just take off my robes and prance around the Liberator, riding and fingering every single thing I encounter…to use my body to its full potential. Do you know what it is like to sit in a room of repressed tories, Travis?’

‘I am a loner, I do not like crowded rooms.’

‘It is a depressing thing…to know that half of them go home at night and pay Russian teenagers to choke them…yet publicly, they are family men.’

‘The fringes of the empire is the best place to be…that’s where the violence is, the pain, the suffering, the openness…’

‘You may be right. Perhaps I should move my office out here. Promote a sexier, more decadent form of fascism.’

The vamp officer appears, telling Travis it’s time to hide.

‘Very well. Where is Blake now?’

‘Round the corner, having a quick fag.’

‘And the guards have the new guns?’

‘Yes, Sir.’

‘Any grumbles?’

‘No, they are very excited to be sacrificed for your plan.’

 

CUT TO – TUNNEL OUTSIDE THE PRISON SECTION

Blake pushes Vila in front of a large, metal door and tells him to look like he’s doing something.

Nearby, Jenna keeps herself behind Yaphet and Gan, away from the massacre survivor, who keeps looking at her hips.

‘Man, it’s freezing down here…’ moans Yaphet, rubbing his arms.

‘It’s Wales, mate.’

‘Feels like fucking Pluto.’

Vila unlocks the door and they all barrel in, Blake grabbing the first guard he sees and ordering him to relax.

‘You’re looking for the lady prisoner?’ asks the guard.

‘Take us to her, no tricks.’

‘I should warn you…she’s fully clothed now.’

‘Shut up, move.’

Blake pushes the guard forward and they encounter more guards. There’s not much to do except start shooting.

Blake finds the computer and checks the pictures attached to each cell. Eventually he finds Avalon.

‘This way, she’s in D2.’

They move through the corridors, shooting all the paid fascists and ‘just doing my job’ fascists and ‘actually you’re the fascist’ fascists and ‘what about the silent majority’ fascists and ‘I’m not in charge of torture’ fascists and ‘when you think about it, isn’t all government a form of fascism’ fascists until they get to D2.

Avalon walks out, looking dazed, sees Jenna and lets them take her back to the tunnel.

On the way, Blake gets shot but is Zapata enough to absorb the damage.

 

CUT TO – LIBERATOR BRIDGE

Callie and Avon sit on the couch, playing connect 4.

Avon has one piece left. He thinks carefully for a long time then puts it a column on the far left. Callie picks up her last piece and drops it in.

‘Connect 8,’ she says.

‘You are a tricky opponent.’

‘I keep telling you, I’m a telepath.’

‘Perhaps we should play a different game next time. Do you know Hungry Hippos?’

Blake breaks through on the comm and tells them to get to the teleporter and beam them up.

‘We’ll tell Gan and Yaphet, they’re both in the teleporter room.’

‘What are you talking about? They’re down here with us…’

‘Nope.’

‘They are, they’re right…hang on, where are they?’

‘I told you, up here. They came back up a while ago. Said there was too much running involved, gave them a headache.’

‘Both of them?’

‘That’s what they said.’

‘Fine, get them to beam us up. Now.’

Avon cuts the line and calls the Teleporter room. ‘Gan, you there?’

‘Big guy’s taking a dump,’ says Yaphet.

‘Do you know how to work the teleporter?’

‘Yeah, I was just looking through the schematics…seems like you guys were right…it’s nonsense…’

‘Can you use it?’

‘There’s three words on the whole design…teleport…vanish…circuits…what kind of circuits? They don’t say. Man, your sci-fi is so messed up.’

‘Yaphet, can you make the teleporter work?’ asks Avon, biting his tongue.

‘I can push a button, and ram the lever, sure.’

‘Then do it.’

‘Doing it.’

‘And if you accidentally miss out Blake, that’s okay.’

‘Huh?’

‘No, wait. Don’t miss him out. I’m not ready to lose him yet.’

‘I got all of ‘em.’

‘Don’t tell him anything I just said.’

‘What you saying?’

‘Nothing.’

 

CUT TO – FEDERATION BASE

Travis stands next to the rack, watching the oil drip off the Slavic man’s chest. He watches for a while, following one stream in particular hang down and then drop onto the floor.

Finally, he leans into the man’s ear. ‘I have a plan. After I kill Blake, I will give you a perm, a second-hand ship, and a four day head-start. Then I’ll chase you. And every time I catch you, we will wrestle and manoeuvre into a position where we can suck each oth-…’

‘Sir…’

Travis lurches back, instinctively slapping the Slavic man across the cheek. Then he turns to the vamp officer and snaps, ‘what?’

‘Blake has teleported back to his ship with Avalon.’

‘Good, good…it won’t be long now.’

‘Would you like me to bring more oil?’

‘What?’

‘Your prisoner’s chest is getting dry.’

‘Leave.’

‘Yes, sir.’

 

CUT TO – LIBERATOR RECOVERY ROOM

Avalon smiles like a machine, while Vila, Yaphet, Gan, the massacre survivor and Callie, swarm around her, asking if she’s okay.

‘I’m fine. Mr Travis was very nice, as were all the guards.’

‘Was your cell dirty? Cramped? Any rats?’

‘She’s tired, let her rest,’ says Callie. ‘I’ll stay and watch over her.’

‘Me too,’ says Vila.

‘No, all of you go to the bridge, give Avalon some time to recover from her double strap experience.’

Everyone leaves.

The massacre survivor stays behind, looking suspicious and sexually stunted all in the same expression.

 

CUT TO – LIBERATOR BRIDGE

Blake rubs his gut and asks Avon if any Federation ships are in pursuit.

‘Yes, several, going about 60mph.’

‘This all feels very strange…’

‘Well, it was obviously a trap.’

‘Yes, but we got out of it…’ says Jenna.

‘Did we?’ Blake rubs his gut again. ‘I got shot and there’s no blood. Avalon got shot in the face seventeen times and she’s still grinning like a Mormon.’

Vila, Gan and Yaphet walk in, heading straight for the couch.

‘How’s Avalon?’

‘Robotic.’

Blake ponders things, then grabs one of the guard’s guns and shoots Gan at point blank range.

‘Fucking hell…my tit.’

‘As I suspected, rubber bullets.’

‘You mean they let us escape?’

‘Travis did, yes. The guards we murdered were probably drugged. Or true believers. Or really hate immigrants.’

‘But why?’

‘I can think of two possibilities. One, reasonable, the other, ludicrous.’

‘The reasonable one?’

‘The only constant factor in the whole episode in terms of guest stars is the survivor who tried to grope Jenna in the cave. He was the only survivor, he led us into the base, he is still on the ship.’

‘Why didn’t Travis just kill you on the base?’

‘This is becoming a bit Q&A.’

‘They want the liberator,’ suggests Vila.

‘An advanced ship with incredible technology or a chubby welsh man with Zapata delusions…’ says Avon, stroking his ear.

‘Shit, they want me and the ship,’ shouts Blake, sliding off the bridge and down the heaven corridor.

‘Wait, what about the ludicrous possibility?’ asks Avon, following him.

‘Avalon is Travis….’ Blake shouts back, his voice already fading.

Vila and Jenna chase after them, while Gan and Yaphet half rise off the couch, wait until the others are out of sight then sit down again.

‘Wanna read the Sport?’ asks Gan, pulling the paper out of his jacket pocket.

‘Got any basketball news?’

Gan checks a few pages, then holds one out. ‘It’s got Barbara Steele sitting on a basketball…’

‘Shit, woman’s got no knickers…’

‘They’ve got some articles too.’

‘Like what?’

Gan flicks through a few more pages, squints, flicks through another few, then stops, eyes lit up. ‘Here look.’

Yaphet leans forward, squinting. ‘Satanist feminists turn man into paperclip.’

‘Yup,’ says Gan, nodding.

 

CUT TO – LIBERATOR RECOVERY ROOM

Blake slides in and looks shocked. The others stumble into him and replicate his shock.

‘Callie…’

‘He attacked you…’

‘Yes, but I beat him up.’

‘Fantastic…’

‘But then Avalon murdered him, and hit me on the head.’

‘What?’

Callie rubs her head and points to the corner of the room. The massacre survivor puts a bloody hand on the table then falls over and dies.

‘Shit, I was right…’ proclaims Blake, ‘Avalon is Travis!’

‘Or she’s been brainwashed to kill us…’

Blake thinks about it for a second. ‘Yes, that was my second theory. Let’s find the crazy bitch, wrestle a bit then teleport her out into space.’

They run out, then slow down to a jog then stop completely, lighting up.

 

CUT TO – LIBERATOR BRIDGE

Yaphet sits with the paper held out in front of him, shaking his head.

‘What is it?’ asks Gan.

‘The Russians…’

‘Putting dogs in space again?’

‘Says here they’re remote controlling James Caan and Sissy Spacek…’

‘Seems reasonable.’

‘Shit…that’s why Caan wanted me to play Cletus in Rollerball. He was trying to brain me for real.’

‘Err…’ Gan looks left, sees Avalon. ‘Hey luv, wanna sit next to two blocks of granite?’

‘I’m looking for my murder pill…or ball. Yes, it’s a ball. I think I put it in my jacket. Do you know where it is?’

‘No, but why don’t we go to the teleporter room and look for it?’

Yaphet folds up the paper, loud. ‘Fuck that, man, teleporter room’s miles away.’

‘But we have to help her, she’s pretty, we’re big, it’s the only way to create a sense of comfort…’

‘She wants her jacket, right? Well, here it is.’ Yaphet holds up a jacket and fumbles in the pocket. ‘Here’s the murder ball thing too.’

He chucks it over.

Avalon misses the catch and bends down to crush it with her hand. Gan reaches down to help and accidentally punches her on the temple.

‘Shit, I’m so sorry…’

Avalon stands back up and jumps on Gan, wrestling him.

‘Man, can you stop elbowing me…’ Yaphet shifts across the couch, taking the Sport with him.

‘Help…she’s super strong…possibly a robot…’

‘Do what?’

Blake and the others run in, everyone jumps on Avalon, they subdue her and somehow the actress survives.

‘Wah…can’t believe she was a robot.’

‘The Federation has never had this kind of sophisticated technology before,’ says Avon, stroking his hair. ‘It makes no logical sense.’

‘Brother, you have an engine with no actual parts…’ laughs Yaphet.

‘It’s an alien ship.’ Blake looks Avalon up and down, finally holding up a finger. ‘Avon, can you re-program her to hold the murder ball?’

‘Nope.’

‘Can we imply that you can?’

‘Sure.’

 

CUT TO – FEDERATION BASE

Travis and Servelan sit in the prison section, stroking the dry blood on the floor and the furniture.

‘It’s good to get close to the essence every once in a while…’ says Servelan. ‘Sitting in an office, ordering murders and torture…it’s very conceptual.’

‘You can torture Blake’s corpse personally if you like?’

‘A bit morbid, but acceptable. Fascism should have its quirks.’

‘We can cut off his head and display it in the British Museum.’

‘Let’s wait until we have the corpse first, shall we?’

‘There is little need for caution, Supreme Commander. He’s dead by now. Guaranteed.’

The vamp officer walks in and tells him Blake has escaped.

‘No….’

‘But now he’s back.’

‘What?’

‘In your office. And he demands to see you.’

‘He demands…’ says Servelan, affronted.

‘Get that slinky bitch up here.’

Servelan’s face goes nova.

‘Those were his words.’

‘Well, I’m sure he’s gone insane,’ says Travis. ‘Let’s go and murder him in person, maybe strap him to the rack afterwards.’

‘He wants you to bring Avalon too.’

‘Didn’t we kill her?’

‘I don’t know. Did we?’

‘Didn’t we?’

‘Honestly, I forgot about her.’

‘She’s in the SHRUBBERY FOR ALL ROOM, Sir,’ says the vamp officer.

‘Ahhh…’

‘With your Slavic friend.’

‘Ohhh…’

‘He’s taking a break from the rack.’

‘Give him two more minutes then get him back on there.’

‘Yes, Sir.’

‘Fresh tub of oil, too.’

 

CUT TO – TRAVIS’ OFFICE

Blake stands with the Avalon robot, killing time until the scene starts.

‘So how old are you?’

‘Twenty-two.’

‘Boyfriend?’

‘No.’

‘Christian?’

‘Satanist.’

Blake’s eyes light up.

Travis and Servelan enter the room, along with a few guards. Travis tries to kill Blake with his laser ring, but stops when he sees Blake holding the murder ball.

‘Okay, fascists…I don’t wanna draw this out. Avalon here’s a Satanist and it’s almost five so…I’ve programmed her to drop this ball if you move. Give me the real Avalon and I’ll teleport out of here.’

‘Never…’

Blake puts the murder ball in robot Avalon’s hand, but she’s distracted by the glint in Blake’s eye and drops it. The ball hits the floor.

‘Shit…’

Blake picks it up and tries again.

‘Are we cutting?’ asks Travis.

‘No,’ says the director.

‘Okay, Travis, now I’m gonna teleport out of here directly to the couch on the liberator bridge. You’ve never been there before, have you? It’s incredible, elevates at the feet, vibrates when you tell it to…’

‘I’ll kill you Blake…one day, I’ll kill you.’

‘Ha, I’ll be advanced beginner in Portuguese before you ever kill me.’

‘What’s your level now?’

‘Immeasurable.’

Travis shrugs.

‘Can we just get on with this?’ asks Servelan.

‘Good idea.’ Blake talks to his wrist. ‘Teleport us back, someone.’

The white outlines appear, Blake and Avalon vanish and Travis runs to catch the murder ball. He gets it just in time, but Servelan is disgusted, as is the Slavic prisoner looking over from the rack.

‘This is not a good day for you, Travis.’

‘I’m contracted for two seasons.’

‘We’ll see…’

 

CUT TO – LIBERATOR BRIDGE

Blake and Avalon join the others on the couch, with Vila on the floor and Yaphet still engrossed in the Sport.

‘Well, guys, it all worked out well in the end.’

‘I’m a bit confused.’

‘About?’

‘You had the chance to murder the supreme commander…’

‘Not really.’

‘You could’ve dropped the murder ball.’

Blake laughs, thinks about it, laughs again. ‘Why don’t we celebrate by me and Avalon going to my quarters?’

‘Good idea,’ says Avalon.

‘Really?’

‘But let me get my Baphomet statue first.’

‘Bathmat?’

‘And my daggers.’

Blake makes a guttural sound, baffled, excited, petrified all in one.

‘What about us?’ asks Vila.

‘Melancholy on the couch, like most nights.’

Everyone nods.

‘Avalon…let’s go pick up the bathmat, get comfy and discuss this satanism of yours…’

Yaphet’s eyes balloon, as do Gan’s.

‘Blake…’ shouts Gan.

‘What?’

‘Don’t be alone with her…’

‘But I want to have sex…’

‘He’s right, brother. She’ll turn you into a paperclip.’

Blake sighs. ‘The Sport again?’

‘It’s true, there was a picture of a man, and a paperclip. Side by side. Two separate pictures.’

‘I’ll take my chances.’

‘She’s a devil…’ yells Yaphet.

‘We should burn her…’ screams Gan.

‘In the cargo bay…’

‘I’ll get the firelighters.’

‘Guys, relax. If you find me as a paperclip, then you can burn her. Until then…’

‘Hey where did she go?’ asks Jenna.

‘What?’

‘She’s not here.’

Blake spins around, looking around the bridge, desperate. ‘Satanist…’

Off-set, the young members of the crew carry Avalon away, one of them holding a bag over her head, the others shouting ‘it’s for your own good.’

‘But I like sex,’ protests Avalon.

‘So does Pol Pot.’

‘Huh?’

‘Make that bag tighter, put an air hole in it.’

‘Got it.’

‘And drop the accent, it’s unbearable.’

‘What?’

‘Sounds like a builder.’

‘Fuck you, Olivier.’

‘Peasant!’

‘Landlord!’

The posh radicals revert to form and attack the working class, losing badly until some cops come along and save them.

Back on the couch, Blake stares longingly at the bridge corridor. After twelve minutes, the others start their attempts to bring him back.

‘Portuguese, Blake?’ says Jenna, waving the textbook.

‘Cocktail?’ asks Vila.

Blake mutters no and slouches back in his seat. Yaphet leans over, shoving the Sport in front of him.

‘Page 21. Aunt Beru on a Jawa, non-consensual.’

‘Seen it.’

‘Shit. Okay, brother. Page 29. Pam Grier. Ripped shirt.’

‘Location?’

‘Immigration.’

Blake sighs, looking back at the corridor one last time. ‘Give it here then.’

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