|222||Tunnel at the End of the Light|
Matt Kiene & Joe Reinkemeyer
|TV Listings Teaser||Aliens from an alternate universe attack the crew of Andromeda.|
Phillip Mitchell (Severin)
Welcome inky night
Only in darkness
Can I see your soul
-- "Lost Verses of Krrendar", CY 9542
There is a reception for the Commonwealth signatories being held on the Andromeda, for the formal signing of the charter, and to elect the first Triumvir. There is a popular call for Dylan to become the Triumvir, but he declines. Tyr is disappointed in him for turning down the leadership position.
Harper is staying away from the reception, working on a large project in the machine shop, when there is an explosion. Beka and Tyr rush to investigate, just in time for Tyr to save Harper from being crushed under a large chunk of falling ceiling.
Dylan is speaking with Madame Krebor, the representative from Ne'Holland. She encourages Dylan to run for Triumvir, but Dylan counters that she would make a good candidate. She tells him that some of the worlds may be reluctant to commit to the Commonwealth without Dylan as Triumvir, and may even try to back out.
Rommie pulls Dylan aside. She tells him about the problems in the machine shop, and that she has discovered problems in her AI core. She has determined that it is sabotage. Dylan notes that they have selected an uninhabited system for this meeting, specifically to avoid outside interference, which leaves only the crew and delegates in a position to cause problems. He sends Tyr and Beka to search the delegates' quarters.
Trance and Andromeda are reviewing the records they have on the delegates. They are paying particular attention to the Nietzscheans. Zhukov Pashtun, the Sabra-Jaguar senator seems very suspicious, but they keep looking. Trance asks Rommie for more information on a human representative, James Serverin, and they discover that he is actually a Nietzschean who has had his bone blades removed.
Tyr and Beka find someone sneaking around in the corridors – it is Serverin. They corner him while he is meddling with Andromeda's systems, but he makes the internal defenses fire at them, and flees.
Despite reservations about Harper's diplomacy skills, Dylan assigns him to keep the delegates occupied while he helps Beka and Tyr track down the saboteur. Harper starts to perform a magic act, but is rather inept.
Tyr, Beka, and Dylan corner Serverin. Dylan wants to take him alive for questioning, but Serverin is suddenly attacked and dragged off by a creature that appears out of nowhere and disappears through the ceiling. Dylan compares this to Jeger and Satrina's tesseracting abilities, but Andromeda says that, based on her sensor readings, it is not the same thing. She tries to use her internal sensors to detect the alien by its mass, and discovers that her power is being re-routed to the Observation Deck, where the delegates are assembled. Dylan, Beka, and Tyr run to get them out.
Harper is still doing his bad magic act, but the temperature on the Obs deck is getting very warm. In the middle of Harper's act, the alien grabs one of the ambassadors, making him disappear. The delegates think this is part of his act. Zhukov starts to feel the radiation, and tries to leave, but the doors are stuck. Tyr forces the door open from the outside, and orders the delegates to follow. As they move through the corridors, there is an explosion nearby.
Dylan tells him to take the delegates to the slipstream control center. Zhukov protests that that is a dangerous place, but Tyr notes that there are extra bulkheads there, affording additional protection from external threats.
Dylan is keeping alert for the alien, and suspects that it will attack a prominent target, perhaps Zhukov. The alien tries to grab Madame Krebor, but Dylan pulls her to safety. Beka shoots at the alien, and it leaves.
Zhukov suggests that the delegates leave the ship, but Dylan says that he feels the aliens are trying to break them apart, and interfere with the formation of the Commonwealth.
The alien appears again, and kills the Perseid delegate from Sinti. At this, Dylan agrees to let the delegates leave, saying they can sign the Charter another day.
Rommie wonders why the aliens do not just destroy the ship, as they seem to be powerful enough. Dylan says that if they want to discredit the Commonwealth, they need someone to tell the story.
Trance warns Dylan not to let the delgates leave. She says that this is the main mistake that she came back in time to fix. In her timeline, there was a massive alien attack, and the Commonwealth was destroyed before it was even formed. Dylan orders Andromeda not to let the delegates leave.
Trance uses Andromeda's computer to show them what the attacking alien ships looked like, saying that they appeared out of nowhere. Andromeda says that to dimension shift a large number of ships like that would take too much power – but Trance says that that is what they thought in her timeline, too.
Dylan and Rommie are walking with Madame Krebor, guarding her, but an alien appears and takes her anyway. A second alien appears, knocks Dylan down, and fights with Rommie. The alien is fast and strong, and seems to be a match for Rommie, but Dylan gets up and shoots it. More aliens arrive, and fight with Dylan and Rommie. Eventually they kill or drive off all of them, but Dylan is now convinced that Serverin was not working with the aliens.
A ship, looking like the one that Trance drew, materializes, fires, and phases out before the Andromeda can react. It continues to do this, at seemingly random points around the ship. Dylan asks Trance how they fought the ships in her timeline, but she says that they could not – they lost, and now they have gone too far into a bad future again. Beka suggests that they try to retreat and regroup, and Dylan orders Andromeda to switch to defensive fire and evasive maneuvers.
More alien ships appear and attack. Andromeda is managing to defend herself, but is still unable to counter-attack.
Several Nietzschean ships arrive – Zhukov's fleet – but they do not join the fight. Zhukov plans to leave the Andromeda, and offers to take any other delegates who want to leave with him. Harper tries to stop them, but Zhukov ignores them until Harper actually threatens him. Zhukov is impressed with this, and says that if they prove that they can fight the aliens, his fleet will assist them.
Dylan decides that, since Trance has already faced these ships, she might have an advantage, so he puts her on fire control. Trance begins calling firing vectors at random, and, on her second shot, hits one of the alien ships as it is phasing in.
After Trance has destroyed one of the ships, the Nietzschean fleet joins the fight. Andromeda is taking heavy damage, but the rest of the Commonwealth fleet arrives and also joins the fray.
Dylan suggests a battle plan. They will lay down fire over specific areas of space, which will prevent the aliens from materializing except in the areas they allow them to. This seems to work, but more and more alien ships keep coming, and they are starting to be overwhelmed.
Rommie detects a "dimensional tunnel" that seems to be coming from "another universe", and identifies it as the source of the ships. Trance says that they did not find this tunnel in the other timeline, so this may give them a chance of changing the future for the better. Rommie and Harper marvel at the amount of energy that would be required to open and maintain this tunnel.
Dylan reveals that the project that Harper was working on was a large bomb – in fact, it is even more powerful than Dylan asked him to make it. They had intended to use it on the Magog Worldship, but this situation seems to call for its use. Beka offers to deliver the bomb in the Maru, but Trance stops her. She says that in the other future, the two of them went out on the Maru, but they were the only ones who survived. She says that Dylan should fly the Maru, in order to force the future to change.
Beka tells Dylan that Trance has told her that, in the other timeline, he got the idea to use the bomb to blow up the system's sun, and take out the alien ships in the system with it. She and Trance took it in the Maru, but they released it too early, the Andromeda did not get away, and the Commonwealth died. Beka notes, however, that they are already in a better future, and she knows how to avoid what went wrong last time, so she will fly the Maru. Tyr offers to go along with her. Beka asks him why, but he evades the question.
The Commonwealth fleet is taking heavy casualties, but holding their ground, until Andromeda detects 10,000 more alien ships coming through the tunnel.
Beka and Tyr are approaching the tunnel in the Maru, when an alien materializes behind Tyr. He fights it, while Beka releases the bomb. The Maru is caught in the explosion, and takes heavy damage as a fireball fills the ship.
The tunnel closes, and all of the alien ships phase out.
The Maru returns to the Andromeda on autopilot. As it lands, much of it is in flames. Dylan races aboard, but, in the wreckage, Beka and Tyr are nowhere to be found.
Continued in If the Wheel is Fixed
Andromeda: Critical systems failure in machine shop 17.
Harper: Thanks, I'm aware of that. How about critical systems repair to machine shop 17?
Harper: I'm diplomacy-challenged! I make fish angry!
Trance (after hitting an alien ship): Yeah, that's it, baby! Scared money walks, sweet sugar action talks! … I heard that one in a casino once.
Dylan: There's only one way to fight a superior opponent.
Zhukov: Well, that I wouldn't know – I've never fought a superior opponent.
Tyr: Remember my admonition about becoming complacent? About forgetting what it means to test our will against the universe? Well, now we have two!