Ethlie Ann Vare
|TV Listings Teaser||A stranger with a message from Dylan's long-dead fiancée arrives onboard Andromeda, leading the crew on a diplomatic mission.|
Sam Sorbo (Sara Riley)
Françoise Yip (Rekel Ben-Tzion)
Zahf Paroo (Jamahl Brown)
Steve Bacic (Telemachus & Gaheris Rhade)
With their miniscule families, humans are often forced to rely on a "state" or "nation" for support.
- Than-thre-kull Anthropology Text, approx. CY 7956
Andromeda is assisting the Castalians in fleet training exercises, and the Castalians are not performing well at all.
A ship enters the system and approaches the Andromeda, unimpeded by the Castalians. It is a High Guard courier ship, piloted by Lieutenant Jamahl Brown, who is wearing a High Guard uniform. He informs Dylan that he has a message for him, from Sara Riley. When Dylan protests that Sara has been dead for 300 years, Jamahl allows that it is a very old message.
Dylan views the message – it is a recording made by Sara many years ago, letting him know that she got on with her life, got married, and had children. She thanks Dylan for giving her the information she needed to survive. Dylan is clearly somewhat shaken by the message, although he says that it is the best message he could possibly have received.
Jamahl tells Dylan that he is from Terazed, a world in a remote corner of Triangulum. He explains that Sara gathered as much of the crews of the Andromeda and Starry Wisdom and their families as she could, and started a colony, preserving Commonwealth civilization – triumvirs, a fleet, etc. – preparing for his return and the renewal of the Commonwealth.
The Andromeda travels to Terazed, which is very hard to get to via slipstream.
Based on past experiences with High Guard remnants, Harper is not sure whether they can trust Terazed. Dylan acknowledges his concern, and resolves to be careful, but insists that they are going to go.
On arrival at Terazed, Andromeda is greeted by 36 slipfighters – an honour guard – and a personal greeting from the triumvir, Rekel Ben-Tzion. Andromeda, monitoring the planet's radio traffic, finds evidence of free press and elections.
On the planet, they are greeted in style, and Dylan and Beka are impressed. Rekel takes Dylan to a reception, attended by all of Sara's descendents, including Jamahl. Also attending the reception is Telemechus Rhade, the commander of Terazed's Home Guard, and the genetic reincarnation of Gaheris Rhade, Dylan's former First Officer. Remembering his betrayal at the hands of Gaheris, Dylan is reluctant to trust Telemachus.
An election is held to decide if Terazed will sign the Commonwealth charter. Trance, Rev, and Harper are discussing it – they figure it is a given that they will join, but Harper thinks he should meddle anyway.
Rekel asks Dylan to make a speech in support of Terazed joining the Commonwealth. Dylan wonders why, assuming that it will not affect the result of the election. Rekel tells him that there is actually a strong isolationist movement, wanting Terazed to stay out of the line of fire, and, in fact, the vote is too close to call.
Dylan makes the speech. Afterwards, Telemachus congratulates him, and asks for a moment alone. Dylan recalls trusting Gaheris enough to ask him to be his best man, and being betrayed by him at Hephaestus, but he agrees to Telemachus' request.
Telemachus asks Dylan what happened at Hephaestus. The residents of Terazed know only that he did not survive. They believe him to be a hero, but the Nietzscheans claim he betrayed the Commonwealth. Only Dylan knows the truth. Dylan tells Telemachus that Gaheris tried to warn him, but by the time he listened, it was too late. Telemachus interprets this as supporting his belief.
Telemachus informs Dylan that he is the leader of the isolationist movement. Dylan reminds him that the Magog are coming, but Telemachus hopes to delay that for as long as possible, at least as far as Terazed is concerned.
A message arrives on the Andromeda: The election is over, and they lost. Rekel offers to declare a planetary emergency, call another election, or otherwise circumvent the law. Dylan, however, insists on playing by the rules. He intends to leave, and go where he can actually make some progress. He is not even interested in talking to Telemachus. Rev tries to calm him by telling him that the isolationists are not evil, just afraid.
Andromeda detects Magog swarmships in the outer system. Dylan begins to move to intercept them, when he gets a message from Telemachus, asking for his assistance. He agrees, and Telemachus assigns Rekel's honour guard to his command. Dylan sends a squadron of fighters to intercept the swarmships. Rekel expresses concern about possible casualties, but the Magog ships turn to leave.
Dylan recalls the fighters, but Jamahl, who was piloting one of them, refuses to break off his attack. He destroys one of the swarmships, but before Andromeda can retrieve him, he is struck by a piece of debris, destroying his fighter and killing him.
Andromeda performs an analysis of the wreckage of the swarmship, and finds some unexpected data: The swarmship had no pilot, no slip drive, and no weapons – a decoy. She also determines that it was built in and launched from the Terazed Home Guard station.
Rekel indicates that she thinks that Telemachus is trying to take control of Terazed's government – she cannot reach the council, but the Home Guard has mobilized. She says that her agents have intercepted, but not decoded, several messages from Telemachus' office, including right before the "Magog attack".
Dylan plans to fight Telemachus, saying he will "get the military out of the government", and that he is "not going to let another Rhade betray him." While he is preparing, a message comes in from Telemachus, asking for a private meeting with Dylan on the Andromeda, and promising he will bring no troops. Dylan agrees to this, and declines Rekel's request to be included.
When Telemachus comes on board, he tells Dylan that he "understands why he did it". Dylan points out that he is not the one with troops in the streets, prompting Telemachus to shoot at him, and a fight ensues. In the course of the fight, they both realize that the other is not responsible. Telemachus and Andromeda do some research and confirm that Rekel was behind the fake swarmships.
Dylan determines that, if he wanted to, he could make it appear that Telemachus was responsible. This would discredit him, and almost certainly see Terazed join the Commonwealth. Telemachus indicates that it is what he would do, but Dylan will not, and helps Telemachus arrest Rekel.
A military funeral is held for Jamahl, attended by Dylan, Rev, and Trance.
Dylan wonders if he made the right choice. He wonders if one act of betrayal is not a price worth paying to save the universe. In considering this, he finally comes to understand the actions of Gaheris Rhade.
Harper: Look, Dylan, if you think Aquaman and the Silver Surfer here are going to help you stop the Magog, you may as well baste yourself with steak sauce now and avoid the rush. (The others look confused.) Aquaman? Silver Surfer? Did you people even go do school? No classical education whatsoever!
Harper: Yeah, sure, that explains everything. No chance that they've been left alone because they're a bunch of cannibals, or killer robots, or…
Harper: What? You're gonna say I'm wrong? C'mon, every single High Guard remnant we've encountered has been psychotic, evil, or both… Present company excepted, of course.
Dylan: Of course.
Tyr: You should never trust any Nietzschean… except me.
Dylan (handing a basketball to G. Rhade): You think you can take me?
Gaheris Rhade: Magog! (Dylan looks away; Rhade sinks a basket) Yes.
Rommie: You know what I really want?
Tyr: An avatar unencumbered by cleavage?
Rommie: A real crew. I used to have 800 Lancers stationed on me.
Beka: Magog scampering? That's too easy.
Harper: Hey, I like gift horses!
Gaheris Rhade: About this "Best Man" job…
Dylan: Uh… yes?
Rhade: Does it always involve drunken bachelor parties and half-naked dancing girls?
Dylan: Pretty much, yeah.
Rhade: In that case, I accept.