|303||Mad To Be Saved|
Matt Kiene & Joe Reinkemeyer
|TV Listings Teaser||Problems ensue when the Andromeda picks up a group of mentally imbalanced refugees.|
Krista Rae (Angelika)
Byron Lawson (Oderic)
Colby Wilson (Pinabel)
Donna White (Flordelis)
Len Doncheff (Numa)
Mina Erian Mina (Dr. Yanimani)
Melanie Blackwell (Zenara)
Nanet Kanly (Commonwealth Op)
The rabid dogs of Gallaphron
Can be trained to drool
At the ring of a bell.
Doesn't stop them from biting.
-- Karlos El Greeta-Stirra,
"Reflections of Rim-Salt", CY 4389
The character "Angelika" may have been named for the woman who bought a pair of "Have You Seen My Forcelance" boxer shorts donated by Kevin Sorbo at a charity auction in August 2001.
The name of the world "Gallaphron" may be a reference to the Gallifrey One convention in Los Angeles, which was attended in 2002 by several of the Andromeda writers (including Joe Reinkemeyer), Keith H. Cobb, Gordon M. Woolvett, and several Andromeda fans.
Andromeda receives a distress call from a freighter trying to escape Gallaphron – a system from which no one is known to have escaped. The freighter is being attached by fighters, and is taking heavy damage, so Andromeda moves to the rescue, destroying a number of the fighters.
The freighter is out of control, and Andromeda catches it in a hangar bay, but the bay doors are damaged in the process, and unable to close. Dylan and Tyr don EVA suits and rush to save those onboard, bringing them emergency oxygen supplies. They find a number of frightened people in matching yellow jumpsuits.
With the immediate danger averted, they bring the refugees onto the Andromeda. The refugees are acting somewhat erratic, and run off into the ship. Andromeda speculates that they might have suffered some brain damage from hypoxia. One refugee, identifying herself as Angelika, is acting more rational, and claims to be the leader of the refugees' resistance cell. She thanks Dylan for saving them, and kisses him. Andromeda seems less than impressed.
On the Maru, Beka finds one of the refugees lying in one of the crew bunks, fascinated with the soft pillows and blankets, and babbling slightly. Beka seems unsure of how to handle the situation, but tries to make the refugee comfortable. The refugee is ranting about how "awful" the captain of the freighter, Higgins, was, and Beka protests – saying that she used to be a captain of a ship like that, saving refugees like her. At this the refugee starts to attack her, yelling about how the captain locked them in the hold without food or water. Beka calms her down.
Harper finds two refugees, a male and a female, in his machine shop, playing with his tools. The male refugee seems fascinated with the jigsaw. Harper tries to get them to follow him to the mess hall. The male refugee asks if Harper likes boxing. When Harper says that he does, the refugee punches him, and both refugees laugh.
The crew manages to get most of the refugees into the mess hall, and gives them food. They are eating quickly and noisily. Dylan sits down to talk to Angelika, and comments on this. She says that "freedom tastes good", explaining that they are used to doing without. Dylan tries to get her to relax, noting that there is enough food for everyone. She says that it is not that easy to adjust to not having to compete for food. She asks him for a change of clothes.
Trance finds an older, balding refugee on the Maru, looking at her plants. He says that he is old and ugly, but has a beautiful person inside. Trance leads him out of the Maru.
Tyr finds one of the refugees practicing martial arts maneuvers. The refugee starts to philosophize to Tyr, but Tyr is not impressed. He takes the refugee to the hangar deck.
Harper comes to Dylan's quarters, and sees Angelika coming from the shower to get changed. He assumes that something is up between Dylan and Angelika. Before he can leave, Rommie arrives. She says that she has not found a ship's log on the freighter, but did find a human brain in a box. Before Dylan has a chance to respond to this, Tyr and Beka both arrive, expressing concern about how the refugees are acting. Beka notes that the box is labeled "Higgins", the name of the freighter captain. Dylan suggests that he talk to Angelika, alone. The others leave, but not without significant looks.
Angelika tells Dylan that she killed Higgins. She repeats the other refugee's story of being locked in the hold, and says that they heard that a Commonwealth ship was just outside of Gallaphron space, but the captain would not act, so they had to. Dylan seems to disapprove of this line of reasoning, until Angelika asks him if he ever had to kill somone.
In the corridor, Beka is approached by two groups of refugees, who start slowly advancing on her and humming. She calls for help, and Tyr and Dylan arrive. Dylan reminds Tyr and Beka that they should try not to hurt them. The refugees stop, then turn and run, screaming. Dylan concludes that they are deranged, and tells Tyr and Beka to try to find them and take them to medical.
Harper finds several refugees back in his machine shop, playing with his tools. One sneaks up on him and takes his gun, and he finds himself surrounded.
On Command, Tyr indicates that he wants to get rid of the refugees. He suggests that they send them back to Gallaphron, or even turn the internal defenses on them. Dylan reminds him that the refugees are allies, resistance leaders who were unfairly imprisoned. Beka speculates that a show of force might convince them to cooperate, in their own self-interest. Andromeda interrupts this conversation to inform Dylan that the refugees have taken Harper hostage.
Dylan contacts the machine shop, and asks them to let Harper go, reminding the refugees that he is there to help them, and he knows that they have been through a lot. The refugees say that they want to be free, and insist that he must agree to their demands. When Dylan asks what their demands are, they fall silent for a moment, then say that they want Harper. The refugees start chanting: "We want Harper!"
Dylan sends Tyr to cover the corridor outside the machine shop, while he and Beka try to get in via the conduits. Beka jokingly suggests that they just leave Harper, because after spending some time with him, the refugees will probably want to get rid of him. Dylan claims that this would be unfairly cruel to the refugees.
The refugees see Dylan and Beka coming, and try to attack them through the conduit grill, with tools. Dylan and Beka retreat.
Outside the door of the machine shop, Tyr is again confronted by the refugee performing martial arts maneuvers. This time, he kicks and punches Tyr a few times, again accompanied by philosophizing. Tyr allows himself to be hit a few times, then punches the refugee, knocking him down.
Beka and Dylan arrive, and the refugee states that they cannot do anything worse than "the doctor". Dylan is surprised to hear about a doctor, and protests to Angelika that she did not tell him that the refugees were insane. Angelika explains that they were put in asylums because they wanted freedom, and the government considered that a sign of insanity. They were then tortured and experimented on until they did go crazy.
Harper screams, and Dylan and Tyr run to save him. Dylan tries to convince Tyr to let him be the one to rescue Harper, but Tyr insists that as much as Harper, the only engineer on the ship, is valuable, so is Dylan, the ship's captain. Tyr is also convinced of his ability to look after himself.
The refugees are threatening to torture Harper, who is trying to fast-talk his way out of it. He claims that he "tortures too easily", and that they would be better off with someone like Tyr, who is bigger, and therefore there is more to torture. He is edging closer to the door, when it opens, and Tyr enters. Harper gets out, but the refugees overwhelm Tyr with an electric shock.
The refugees start beating on the AP rods with tools, which makes Andromeda concerned about an explosion. She cannot do anything to prevent it, because the power to her controls in the machine shop has been cut off.
The refugees have Tyr tied up and unconscious, with a hose in his mouth. Angelika, observing on the monitor from Command, notes that this is to prevent him from biting his tongue – the refugees are going to begin experimenting on him. Dylan tells Angelika to make them stop. She says that she cannot, because she was also a patient, then says she was the doctor. She alternates saying "I was a patient", and "I was the doctor".
Dylan contacts the machine shop, and tells the refugees that he has the doctor, Angelika, and they should direct their anger at her instead of Harper. The refugees all insist that Angelika is not the doctor, with each of them insisting that they are actually the doctor, Doctor Yanamani. A quick check of her database allows Andromeda to identify Dr. Yanamani as a war criminal noted for his torture and cruel psychological experiments. Dylan realizes that he has brainwashed all of the patients to claim to be him as a cover to allow him to escape, and he might even be one of the patients.
Tyr revives enough to attempt to ask Andromeda to activate her internal defenses. When he says this, the refugees all start babbling, and seem to be suffering pain. On Command, Angelika also starts to babble, and attacks Dylan. Beka knocks Angelika out, but claims that she did not mean to use that much force.
Dylan tells Andromeda to try to analyze the patient's babbling, while he is going to try to rescue Tyr. Rommie warns him to be careful, because the ship could be destroyed by the exploding AP rods. Dylan is willing to take the chance. He manages to overpower the refugees without using lethal force. In the fight, the old, bald refugee is shocked by one of Harper's tools, and his disguise melts away – he is Dr. Yanamani.
Dylan escorts the doctor to a cell, but Yanamani gives him a recorded message – a Commonwealth directive that claims that he has important information and must be delivered, alive, with all of his patients, to Commonwealth authorities. Andromeda verifies that these orders are legitimate.
Dylan, unhappy with these orders, confines Yanamani to his quarters. Yanamani seems smug about his guaranteed safety, but Dylan warns him that he might be inclined to pretend he did not get the orders. He is upset by what he sees as the Commonwealth's divergence from the ideals he founded it on. Rommie reminds him that he declined the opportunity to lead the Commonwealth.
Rommie speculates that the ramblings of the refugees might be a code, but she cannot crack it.
While trying to prevent one of the refugees from damaging the ship, Harper discovers that the phrase "defense system" triggers pain in the refugees, and causes them to say a specific nonsense phrase. With this information, Dylan and Rommie realize that Yanamani has buried information about Gallaphron's defense system in his patient's minds in order to smuggle it to the Commonwealth, and allow them to attack and overthrow Gallaphron's repressive regime. Using brain scans of the patients when they react to the key phrase, Andromeda is able to map EEG readings to coordinates around Gallaphron – the orbits of their defense satellites.
Angelika reveals that Yanamani used shock conditioning to make his patients remember the data correctly.
Dylan finds Angelika in Yanamani's quarters. As she drops the tool which was used to deliver shocks to Tyr and Yanamani, the doctor is reciting a nonsense phrase of his own. He falls unconscious and dies, a victim of his own cruelty.
Dylan says that he will take the refugees somewhere where they can be given the medical care that they need. Although the cost was high, they have won their fight for freedom.
Refugee: You know, if you weren't so intensely self-absorbed, you'd realize that all of life is a balance between the emptiness of eternity and the need to make art, to remind ourselves we were here.
Tyr: I had an epiphany like that once. Then I mercilessly beat someone until it went away.
Beka: We should just let Harper sit.
Beka: If they spend enough quality time with him, maybe they'll get sick of him and send him back.
Dylan: Don't you think these people have suffere enough cruel and unusual pnishment?
Tyr: (after knocking down the refugee) He says that to everyone.
Dylan: Does everyone he says it to end up hitting him?
Tyr: So far - fifty percent.
Dylan: Well, you know me with percentages, Rommie. I like to take a big gamble every day, because I might be walking around lucky and not even know it.
Dylan: I created the Commonwealth for good. The day it stops serving the good is the day that I stop serving it.