|209||Into the Labyrinth|
Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz
|TV Listings Teaser||The Andromeda hosts a conference of allies to the Commonwealth, while Harper is lured by unknown evil forces.|
Alex Diakun (Höhne)
James Marsters (Charlemagne Bolivar)
Jud Tylor (Satrina Leander)
Barbara Tyson (voice artist)
"To a god, a wall is but a line on a page. We are all naked, seen beyond seeing."
-- Wayfinder Hasturi, aka "The Mad Perseid", 217 AFC
Dylan is holding a reception for the Commonwealth signatories, with the objective of having them sign a mutual defense pact. An attractive blonde with a data port, Satrina, gets Harper's attention, claiming to be a reporter looking for an interview with a member of the Andromeda crew.
A Nietzschean transport arrives, from the Sabra-Jaguar Pride, carrying Archduke Charlemagne Bolivar. He comes on board the Andromeda, saying that he wants to join the New Commonwealth.
Harper is in his quarters, checking on the Magog larvae in his body on a medical monitor, when Satrina interrupts him, and starts kissing him. When Harper tells her about the Magog larvae, she speculates that he would "do anything to get rid of them". When Harper agrees, she somehow reaches into his stomach, removing one, and smiles. She offers him a deal: Give her the data archive that he got from the Perseid, and she will remove the rest of them. Harper deduces that she is working for the Spirit of the Abyss, and rejects her offer.
Harper approaches Trance, and asks her if she knows were he stored the archive. He forgets (as he forgets much of the data in the archive). Trance tries to discourage him from looking for it, saying that it caused too much trouble the last time he had it.
Charlemagne tells Dylan that he is impressed with his plans. He reminds Dylan that the Sabra-Jaguar Pride has a large and powerful fleet, making them both a powerful ally and a dangerous enemy. While Dylan is considering this, Charlemagne casually notes that Elsbett is pregnant, but he has made sure the child is his.
Harper is continuing to search for information on the whereabouts of the archive, while Dylan is giving several of the delegates a tour of the ship. Höhne approaches Harper, and asks to compare notes with him on scientific discoveries. Their conversation prompts a thought in Harper, and he rushes off, leaving Höhne standing, and jacks into the VR matrix. He searches records he created around the time he had the archive, and finds a recording of himself. The recorded version, however, refuses to give him any information.
Elsewhere, Satrina is keeping her eye on Harper.
Dylan gives Satrina her own tour of the ship. Afterwards, she tries to seduce him, but he puts her off, and walks out of the room. After he leaves, she dematerializes, much like Jeger was able to do. She addresses four dangerous-looking aliens, telling them to study Dylan, Charlemagne, and Höhne, with the intent of killing them.
Tyr is jogging in the corridors when he meets up with Charlemagne. Charlemagne offers to arrange for Tyr to marry one of his sisters, and Tyr says he will consider it. As Tyr turns to leave, Charlemagne mentions the he has heard that Drago Musevini's bones have been stolen from the Drago-Kazov Pride and replace with a fake. Tyr claims no knowledge of this.
Trance is trying to talk Harper out of looking for the archive, but he will not listen. He goes back into the VR matrix to try to get more information out of the recorded version of himself. The recorded Harper still will not provide any information, but says that he has confidence in himself to figure it out if he really needs to. He does warn himself, however, not to tell Trance that he is looking for the archive, because she will not be interested in helping. Before he leaves, Harper notices a button on the recorded Harper's shirt that looks like a sun.
Höhne approaches Harper again. He shows him a symbol on his wrist – the symbol of the All-Systems University Special Collections division. Höhne says that he is looking for the archive as well, and will take it back to Sinti for safekeeping.
Beka tells Dylan and Rommie that the Castalians are reluctant to sign the mutual defense pact, but most of the rest of the charter signatories are willing to sign.
Satrina tries to seduce Harper again. When he rejects her, she phases out and leaves, but he was recording it, and tries to analyze how she did it. He asks Rommie about Phase Density Shifting, which was her theory about how Jeger accomplished the feat, claiming it is a project he is working on with Höhne. Rommie says that she thinks Jeger actually used tesseracts, i.e. a fourth spatial dimension.
Trance tries, once again, to talk Harper out of looking for the archive. As she leaves, Harper notices her tattoo – a sun – and has a flash of inspriation: He hid it in a sun. But how?
Harper leaves in the Maru, telling the others that he is going to pick up some parts and stay out of the way of the diplomatic talks. Trance has stowed away on the Maru, but when Harper tries to take her back, she threatens to tell Dylan, so he keeps her with him. She insists that she is trying to keep him safe.
Rommie tells Dylan she is trying to keep track of Satrina, but she keeps disappearing. Dylan says that he is not sure where Harper and Trance have gone, but he knows they are up to something, and he is not sure if he can trust Charlemagne Bolivar, but an alliance with him may be useful.
Harper locates the archive, encoded in the standing wave of a sun. Trance strongly cautions him that he cannot trust Satrina. Harper reassures her that he does not intend to just give it to her – he is going to include a virus that will let him know what she is looking for, then erase the archive and crash her system.
Beka tells Charlemagne that she likes his style, but warns him that if he double-crosses Dylan, she will take it personally. Charlemagne counters that he likes her style.
Satrina removes six of Harper's 12 remaining Magog larvae, then insists that he hand over the data before she removes the rest. He gives her the archive, then she disappears, retreating to a phased-out swarmship attached to Andromeda's hull, without removing the larvae. Both of them seem to think they got the best of the other.
Trance asks Harper what he remembers from the archive, specifically information about her. Harper says that he remembers seeing people worshipping a "purple goddess". She is very concerned about this.
Satrina starts to review the data that Harper gave her, but the virus erases the archive. She phases to Harper's quarters, angry. Harper insists that she remove the rest of his larvae, then he will give her a clean copy. She tells him that she was a test – her employer has taken an interest in Harper, and wants him to join them. Harper says that he is not interested, and Satrina tries to phase out – only to get stuck. Harper has set a trap with the ship's artificial gravity field. He removes the tesseract generator from Satrina's data port.
Harper retreats to the Maru, where he puts the tesseract generator in his own data port and attempts to remove his Magog larvae, but he is unable to reach into his own stomach.
Satrina is tied up in Harper's quarters, but she easily breaks her bonds, and calls to her thugs to attack. They do so, killing a number of delegates. Bullets are ineffective, as they seem to go right through the thugs. One of the aliens attacks Höhne with a sword, but Charlemagne shows up to rescue him.
Harper goes back to Satrina, and she laughs at his attempt to remove his own Magog larvae. She tells him that you have to phase your whole body, not just part of it. She offers Harper power if he joins them, saying that they just want to "set things right". She also promises to call off her thugs, and give Harper everything he wants. Harper considers the offer, but rejects it, despite the fact that Satrina's thugs seem to be getting the better of the crew.
Charlemagne runs out of ammunition, but Tyr rescues him just in time, coming up behind the thug, removing his tesseract generator and killing him.
Harper takes Satrina to her swarmship, sets the power supply to overload, and phases them out, quickly discarding the tesseract generator. The ship and generator explode. The alien thugs, deprived of their ability to phase out, are quickly killed.
Despite the loss of her tesseract generator, Satrina phases out and disappears. The bodies of the aliens do likewise. Trance seems surprised by this, claiming that they "cheated".
Harper hands the archive over to Trance, saying that he was tempted, and almost betrayed them. Trance reminds him that, as close as he might have come, he did stay loyal. Harper says that he is going to concentrate on how to remove the Magog larvae by more conventional means, and Trance promises to help.
Charlemagne Bolivar signs the Commonwealth charter.
Charlemagne Bolivar: There are at least three good reasons you shouldn't let the Sabra-Jaguar Pride join your new Commonwealth: We are renowned for our treachery; we are at war with the Drago-Kazov Pride; and we will constantly remind you of your genetic inferiority. Now, here's the upside: We are renowned for our treachery; we are at war with the Drago-Kazov Pride; and, did I mention, we command the third-largest fleet in the known worlds.
Dylan: And, in the case of an emergency, the ship can be piloted from the gunnery nose.
Charlemagne: Emergency? You mean in the event that the Command Deck crew is reduced to a fine red mist and splattered across the walls in a bloody mural?
Dylan: That would qualify, yes.
Höhne: Fascinating! And do such emergencies arise with a degree of frequency, or are they a rare occurance?
Tyr: What would you like, Jaguar?
Charlemagne: The usual: Hundreds of grandchildren, utter domination of known space, and the pleasure of hearing that all my enemies have died in terrible, highly improbably accidents that cannot be connected to me. And you?
Tyr: (laughing) The usual.
Trance: Y'know, since we've got a little bit of time here, we might as well find a good way to spend it. I know! I've got this really great game. It's called "Harper tells Trance everything, so she can save his miserable little life." Would you like to play?
Harper: I hate you.
Trance: You're just saying that.
Trance: Harper, you are my best friend, and because you are my friend, I really need you to listen to me: Do… not… look… at… the archive.
Harper: Y'know, Trance, I liked it better when I thought you were harmless.
Trance: Yeah, me too.
Harper: OK, my little Magog buddies: All good things must come to an end, and, unfortunately, for the bad things, it's pretty much the same deal.
Harper: I'm nobody's pawn. I don't even like chess!